How Can We Follow The Injury Recovery Process?

There are certain attributes common to all musculoskeletal injuries. Caring for them properly will help you to recover in the best possible way.
How Can We Follow The Injury Recovery Process?

Last update: 07 November, 2020

Whether you’re an athlete or not, it’s fair to say that at one point in your life you’ll suffer from some kind of injury. There are many types of different injuries, but there are a few characteristics that they all have in common. Do you want to know more about the recovery process? In this article, we’ll offer you some advice.

Know the scope of the injury: recovery process

This first part is obvious but essential. You should do all the necessary  tests to know exactly what injury you have and which tissue it affects.

In certain cases, it may be beneficial to get a second opinion. For example, it may be a complex injury, or one that’s going to require surgery, or an invasive or potentially dangerous treatment.

In any case, go and get checked out. It may be tempting to simply say to yourself, “Oh, something similar happened to my friend”! Or “Yes, I’ve had this pain before and it was…”

But it may not be the same, and treating it incorrectly will give way to a series of new problems, possibly worse than the initial injury.

Stay positive

One of the psychological problems that can complicate the recovery process even further is  catastrophizing. This means giving more importance to the injury than it warrants. Some examples of this type are thinking that the pain is going to last forever, or that you’re never going to recover, or that the injury is more serious than it actually is.

In turn, these thoughts can lead you to other negative phases, such as the avoidance of pain, anxiety, or stress. By avoidance of pain, we mean that you actively avoid doing daily tasks because you believe it’ll hurt.

recovery from an injury go and see a doctor

In other words, the physiotherapist will probably have told you that you need to get on with life as normal, because you need to regain movement in your shoulder, for example. But you don’t reach for that jar on the top shelf, or you put on your shirt keeping your arm as still as possible.

In these types of situations, medical professionals advise that we do as much as we can in order to acclimatize to our bodies again. If you impose limits on yourself, you slow down the recovery process. In the event that you do move a specific area and it hurts, you’ll know that you shouldn’t move that area just yet. But if you try and you can, by all means continue.

For all of this, it’s always better to do the recovery process in a positive way. Understand that you’ll recover when it’s possible and that in a few weeks, this whole scenario will be no more than a memory.

Follow the recovery process guidelines exactly

If your injury is musculoskeletal, it’s likely that the doctor or physiotherapist that tends to you has already seen hundreds of similar cases. As such they’ll know exactly what the best course of action is, and at what speed the recovery process should go. In a similar vain, if you have been prescribed medication, you should also take that as the guidelines suggest.

If the professionals tell you to do a certain exercise ten times, do it ten times! If they tell you to do it as many times as possible, do it as many times as possible every day. The important thing about a recovery process is that you don’t skip any days, or think that you no longer need to do certain things. If they’ve recommended something, it’ll be for a reason, even if you think it’s useless.

Return to sport with care: recovery process

Although your doctor and physiotherapist may say that you can return to playing a sport, you should proceed with caution. The recovery process for an injury includes returning to the physical state that you were in before it happened; as such, after several immobile days or weeks and relearning how to do basic movements, you can’t go back to training as if nothing happened.

footballer returning after completing recovery process

Instead, you’ll have to go through the stages of training again and gradually increase the intensity.

Be patient

This last piece of advice encompasses several parts of what’s already been mentioned in this article. If you know how much time your recovery process is going to take, and that your returning to sport will be staggered, you must accept it. There’s no other option unless you want to hurt yourself again or suffer an even worse injury.

Unless it’s a serious injury, it’s fair to assume that a person can completely heal from it. You only need to understand that your body is suffering and that it needs the adequate care in order to completely  heal. As such, you should follow the advice presented in this article, and in the blink of an eye, you’ll be back to life as normal.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • E. Barral, F. Buonanotte. Catastrofización ante el dolor y abuso de analgésicos en pacientes con migraña crónica. Revista de neurología, Vol. 70, Nº 8, 2020, págs. 282-286
  • M. Jiménez. Catastrofización y aceptación: correlación de constructos psicológicos con la percepción del dolor en pacientes con fibromialgia. Trabajo Fin de Grado para la Universidad de Zaragoza, 2012
  • T. Fernández y P. Guillén. Criterios para el retorno al deporte después de una lesión. Archivos de Medicina del Deporte; 34(1): 40-44, 2017

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.