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Although injuries are much more common for athletes, anyone can experience an injury that will halt normal physical activities. Because of multi-layered factors such as an aging American population, rising obesity levels, interest in pain management, and increased injury incidents, there is a raised need for physical rehabilitation experts. Currently, physical therapy and rehabilitation has a market size of $34.2 billion, and this is forecasted to grow even further at a rate of 6.2% annually. Due to the rapid spike in demand, the healthcare industry is facing a challenge in filling those positions. In response, and in an effort to close the gap, modern exercise science is expanding to focus on holistic wellness, tactical strength and conditioning, and human movement. This prepares modern exercise professionals to maximize the use of innovations and healthcare technology and apply it in programs they develop for people who are recovering from various types of injuries.

Recovering from injury requires a systematic plan for physical healing to ensure that one recuperates well and regains functionality for sports and daily activities. Exercise can play a huge role in your rehabilitation plan, so here are five things you need to know about exercise during injury recovery:

Get your doctor’s approval

There are various types of injuries, and a correct diagnosis from a doctor is key in an effective rehabilitation plan. In sports, for example, an injury can be classified into two broad categories: acute and chronic. The treatment for a sports injury depends on the type, and degree, of injury that the athlete sustained. For instance, chronic injuries may need constant and lower-impact approaches while acute ones may need more aggressive approaches. Much like athletes, pushing yourself to return to sports or daily physical activities too soon can worsen your injury. Your doctor can properly assess if the pain, stiffness, and swelling have improved enough to start an exercise program for recovery.

Take it slow and steady

Once you get the green light from your doctor, it’s essential to take it slow and steady. Instead of returning to your normal physical activity levels, start with movements that gradually increase in intensity and duration. If you haven’t been exercising for a couple of weeks, it is natural to feel a little weaker and be winded more quickly. Start by exploring gentler forms of exercise such as walking, swimming, or dynamic stretching that do not put a strain on the injured parts of your body.

Don’t ignore pain

Recovery is not linear, and it’s possible to feel pain through different parts of your journey even if you start slowly. Pain is your body telling you that you’ve gone too far or over-exerted yourself. An effective exercise program includes rest as one of its integral components. Rest allows your body to recuperate so you can return to exercise safely and sustain more prolonged periods of movement. Persistent pain requires returning to your doctor for a proper assessment of the problem and an adjustment of your recovery plan.

Pair exercise with proper nutrition

Nutrition is vital to every exercise program and recovery plan. Eating well and hydrating often can positively affect the quality of your recovery. This is why eating a healthy variety of foods will supply your body with the vitamins, minerals, and oxidants that it needs to recuperate faster from an injury. Nutrition plays a massive part in your body’s healing process and strengthens your muscles and joints. During your recovery period, avoid alcohol and junk food and increase your intake of natural and unprocessed food to maximize your exercise program.

Get help from a physical rehabilitation expert

A physical rehabilitation expert is specifically trained to create a step-by-step program to help you return to your normal levels of exercise. With their expert knowledge, they can design an exercise regimen that uses techniques to recover from your injury safely. They can pinpoint exactly the extent of the damage, its location in the body, and the best route you can take for recovery. Every injury is different, so rehabilitation plans should be customized based on an expert’s complete evaluation of your physical function and circumstances.

Being cautious before diving into any injury recovery exercise will reap considerable benefits in your holistic wellness. Achieving a safe and sustainable rehabilitation should be your priority when you suffer an injury. A comprehensive exercise plan can mitigate the risk of hurting yourself during your healing process.

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By: Raisie Jayce