If you’re recovering from an injury, you may feel nervous about how you should return to your desired level of physical activity. Here are some tips to consider that will help you make the transition smoothly:
1. Slowly build yourself back up. While physical therapy has helped your injury heal, your muscles need to regain their strength and mobility. Don’t overdo it, set a comfortable and reasonable goal for yourself and build as you go along.
2. Don’t slack on your therapy exercises. They were assigned to you for a reason – maintaining them will help you recover quickly.
3. Get some active rest. If you exercise in the form of yoga, weightlifting or swimming, your injury is resting while you’re working out. This decreases your level of repetitive stress, which will prevent your chances of re-injury.
4. If you feel pain or see signs of swelling, stop. These are red flags that you’re just not ready yet.
5. Pay attention to the signs of full recovery. You’ll know you’re ready to return to your normal level of activity once you have a full range of motion, feel close to having regained your full strength, and don’t struggle with bearing weight. Of course, your therapist will help you determine if you’re ready to return to full-time activity.