Regardless of how much time you spend as an athlete and to what degree you subject your body to intense physical demands, the percentages indicate that we will all subject ourselves to injury at one point or another. However, athletic injuries can be complicated, especially when considering everything from diagnosis and treatment to potential surgery and rehabilitation. Ultimately, although everyone’s goal is to get back to healthy as soon as possible, the following are three of the primary considerations which should take place in order to feel back to normal as quickly as possible.
Get an accurate diagnosis
One of the more essential characteristics of a successful injury recovery is an accurate diagnosis, which more often than not comes from a certified medical professional. The minute that an individual feels pain that they don't feel is normal and is not resolved by simple methods such as ice and resting, they should consult with a professional as soon as possible in order to understand the full extent of their potential injury. Otherwise, an incorrect diagnosis or "pushing through the pain" can lead to further injury and complications to the problem later on.
Fuel your body during recovery
Whether your injury requires significant surgery and rehabilitation time or is a simple ankle sprain, maintaining a positive diet is one of the more essential ways to enhance your recovery period. This is because during the recovery phase, your body is relying on the presence of key vitamins and nutrients in order to optimize your recovery and minimize the amount of time that you spend on the sidelines. As Jennifer Cohen of mensfitness.com writes, “A nutrient-packed diet and adequate hydration are key during recovery. Adding a supplement like glutamine or MSM and chondroitin may also help rebuild joints. Stay away from alcohol, sugar, and white flour”
Consider using Stem Cell Treatments
Although many injuries do not require any sort of significant medical intervention at all, there are unfortunate occasions where surgery and/or alternate methods of treatment should be strongly considered by the patient. One of the most progressive treatments that is currently being implemented is Stem Cell therapy, which “promotes the reparative response of diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissue using stem cells or their derivatives”. Individuals such as Dr. Leon Reyfman have raved about the success rate of this therapy, pointing out that “We already know how effective stem cell therapy can be when treating knee injuries sustained during sports, using the patient's own stem cells... Stem cell injections are relatively non-invasive whereas this research involves a surgical procedure, but it could prove useful for younger patients and for people with serious meniscal tears."”
Listen to your body and know your limits
Regardless of where your injury falls on the spectrum of a simple ankle sprain to reconstructive knee surgery, everyone will have to go through the phase of rehabilitation at one point or another. However, one the most prominent issues in terms of re-injuring your body is rushing through this final phase, or not being aware that a full return to health make take longer than usual. As Anna Johannson of stack.com writes, patience may be the key to optimizing your rehabilitation period: “As an athlete, you're used to pushing your body and being attached to the notion that you know your limits. This might have been true before an injury, but after injury, you have to re-familiarize yourself with what your body can do.”
Ultimately, there is no sure-fire way of answering the proposition of how to come back from an injury quickly, however there are a number of directives in which, if followed correctly, patients can minimize their time spent in pain. Whether its making the extra effort in order to maximize the amount of nutrients that your body is taking in during recovery or truly understanding what your limits are while working yourself back, the track to a full recovery is a long one that requires plenty of patience and resiliency.