Post-injury rehabilitation; one day at a time

Post-injury rehabilitation; one day at a time

An invalidating injury is always challenging – not only for the athlete who must stop training but also for the worker who finds himself into forced sick leave. Apart from the physical pain, inactivity and isolation that often result from an injury can take their toll on the patient’s whole lifestyle. Rehabilitation can be perceived as a long and treacherous road. Keeping up the spirit is no small task. Here is a 12 step program that offers a few suggestions and reference points to accelerate the healing process.

Stage One: Take the blow, and then take measures to heal

Immediately after the injury, follow these four steps to accelerate the healing process:

Time out

Obviously, activities that provoke pain and swelling are to be avoided. However, ceasing all activity is not a good idea. Just allow some rest to the injured area while continuing to stimulate it lightly.

Apply ice

Ice has many properties. It helps relieve pain, swelling and inflammation in the muscles, joints and other injured tissues. A form embracing ice pack should be applied as soon as possible for a 10 minute period. This should be repeated several times a day.

Contain the swelling

To reduce swelling the area should be supported by a compressing elastic bandage – though not too tight as you want to avoid impairing blood flow to the injury. If pain increases or if the area becomes numb, the bandage is probably too tight.

Elevate the injured area

Using gravity can reduce swelling by draining excess liquid. Therefore, elevating the injured area above the body is definitely advised, especially during the night.

These four steps can be repeated as needed.

Stage two: Keeping a positive outlook during rehabilitation

Previously, complete rest was the norm to heal an injury. However, people noticed the longer they remained still, the longer it took to regain mobility. We now know that laying still is harmful both physically and emotionally. So here are a few steps designed to strength the mind and body during the healing process.

Consult a physiotherapist

A physiotherapist’s support is often essential to re-educate your body properly. Rehabilitation therapy helps regain strength, power, agility and coordination, depending on the physiopathology of the lesion. All these factors combined stimulate tissue scarification, while monitoring the pressure applied to the injured joint during the sessions.

Stay active

Maintaining good form is important during the healing process, especially for high caliber athletes. Avoiding direct aggression on the lesion and promoting progressively more exercise maximise the scarification process while maintaining cardiovascular stamina. Swimming and aqua gym are the best form of exercise to begin with, gradually incorporating cardio and weight training as you get stronger.

Food intake = energetic outtake

When an injury restrains a patient’s mobility, especially athletes, they tend to either lose weight by loosing muscle tissue, or gain weight by gaining fatty tissue. So sometimes it’s a good idea to rethink our eating habits to adapt our body to its reduced activity level and to keep a healthy weight and muscle mass.

A recent study in Britain found that omega-3s can contribute to faster healing and regeneration of damaged nerves. Fish, nuts and flax oil are all rich in omega-3s.

Mental health

Sometimes recuperating from an injury can be as hard psychologically as it is physically. To suddenly become inactive can take a toll on our morale. To keep up the spirit, first try to eliminate the negative emotion left by the initial shock of the accident. This emotional stigma must be broken, because it often causes a rebound effect: fear of moving. Mental visualisation can be used to accelerate and enhance the healing process.

Whenever possible, it is important to go back to a context similar to where the accident occurred, especially if it happened at work. This helps dissociate the location from the mental distress of the incident. The ultimate goal is simply to regain full confidence in our capacities.

Stage THREE: I will avoid a relapse by any means

Make a plan

It is important to see a Doctor before initializing any rehabilitation program. For example, a broken ankle needs to be completely healed before going back in the gym. Consulting a certified trainer or sports medicine specialist to set up a secure plan is also a wise choice.

Longer warm ups

During recovery, you should spend at least 10 to 15 minutes warming up before jumping into any sport activity. A series of light, gradual exercises helps elevate body temperature, warm up muscles and ligaments, and increase blood flow, thus reducing the risk of injury.

Time to recuperate

Recuperation allows time to reduce muscle strain and damage. Never cease an activity suddenly. For example, if you are jogging, reduce your pace gradually before coming to a complete stop.

Listen to your body

At any time, at the smallest sign of pain, stop the movement that caused it. Caution is always the best bet when training or practising a sport that demands great efforts from muscles and joints.


Suggested products

  • Athletic Adhesive Tape

    DESIGNED TO PROTECT WEAK ARTICULATIONS AND HELP PREVENT INJURIES AND SPRAINS The choice of athletes! Strapping with the help of adhesive sport tape is important for the prevention of joint injuries, especially in the ankle and the hand. Taping is also essential during early management of injury and rehabilitation. Characteristics : Package with 1 roll Indications A variety of sports use strapping with adhesive sport tape in order to avoid injuries. Taping is often used by athletes to help recover from ligament sprains of the ankle or to help prevent further injury. The sports most commonly associated with ankle sprains are karate, basketball, football, baseball and soccer.
  • Laced Ankle Brace



    Provides superior support and ankle protection in all sports. Designed to help prevent ankle injuries while remaining flexible for daily activities. Ideal in the treatment of sprained ankles and can be worn on either foot.

     Characteristics :

    • Allow a break-in period of 6-8 hrs before the brace conforms to the shape of your ankle
    • Removable reinforced stabilizer on each side
    • Firm lateral support for additional protection
    • Allows flexibility
    • Easy fit
    • Fits both right and left feet
    • Colour: white

     Indications :

    • Sprain
    • Post trauma, Post surgery
    • Prevention during sports
    • Recommendation by a physiotherapist
    • Hiking
    • Ice sports

    Adjustment :

    Put on brace and pull laces from bottom eyelets until the brace fits tightly but maintains comfortable.  There should be no gap or bulge in the heel cut-out.  Wear socks to absorb sweat.  Allow a break-in period of 6 to 8 hours before the brace conforms to the shape of your ankle.  If you wear two braces, mark each one as left or right to ensure optimal adjustment.

    Made of :

    35% Polyester, 20% Polyurethane, 15% Cotton, 10% Foam, 15% Plastic, 3% Spandex, 2% Copper.

    Cleaning :

    Wash by hand with mild soap and air dry.

  • Stabilizing Knee Brace

    Designed to provide optimal support during physical activities. The Stabilizing Knee Brace may be used for many different patella problems including chondromalacia, patella tendonitis, subluxation and dislocation. Specially designed to support the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), it may also be used for many different patella problems, including Chondromalacia, Patella Tendonitis, Subluxation and Dislocation. Neoprene retains body heat, increases blood circulation, and helps keep muscles supple. Neoprene retains body heat, increases blood circulation and helps keep muscles supple. It remains effective even when wet and does not absorb water. Characteristics
    • Sleeve support
    • Velcro®-type fasteners keep sleeve in place and increase stability
    • Two spiral hinges on each side
    • The Polyethylene pad alleviates direct pressure on patella
    • Perforated neoprene covered with non-brushed nylon
    • The removable cushion alleviates direct pressure on patella
    • Provides extra stability to patella
    • Firm support
    • Easy fit
    • Colour: black
    Made of: Neoprene covered with non-brushed nylon. Indications
    • Sprain
    • Patella implication
    • Various kneecap problems, such as chondromalacia of the patella, tendonitis, dislocation and partial or total patellar subluxation.
    • Raquet sports, ball sports, jogging, biking
    • Activities involving heavy lifting
    • Walking