Fitting rehab into your life
Injuries suck, but they’re going to happen, no matter how well you prepare, sometimes they’re just gonna happen. It’s a part of being competitive, and playing competitive sport. However, you should use your injuries as an opportunity to get better. Having a rehabiltation plan is one thing but getting it done is another, it’s really important to manage your time correctly and get the rehab done. A rehab plan is only going to work so long as you are consistent, and you actually get the work done. There is no difference between a rehabiltation plan and normal training program in terms of getting the work done to get the best results. If you set time aside to go to your sports training, (Football, Cricket, Netball, Basketball, Frisbee training etc). If your normal training days are Tuesdays and Thursdays, but you no longer can go to training because you’re injured, that doesn’t mean they become rest days, this is now the time for you to work on your rehabilitation.
Find the time
If a Physiotherapist (Physio) or the Strength and Conditioning Coach (S&C) has given you a workout to do, you need to organize your lifestyle to fit that time in. If you truly want to get back to playing your absolute best in your sport, you have to find the time for your rehabilitation. For every session that you don’t complete, you’re delaying your ability to return to play and you can’t just use a time frame, “Oh it’s been four weeks the Doctor Said I can go back to playing”. No, you need to base your return to play criteria on what have you actually done and how prepared are you to return to sport. For example, you’ve got a hamstring injury, a grade one usually twenty one to twenty eight days. There’s X amount of sessions that you need to complete in that period of time to successfully return you to play. And it’s about getting that work done. If you want to return within those timeframes you have to organize your lifestyle and prioritize your rehabilitation to get that work done.
Now one way we can do this as well, is to set goals. Consult with your Physio and set rehabilitation targets, e.g. “Once I’ve completed this exercise, then what will I do?” Or “What do I need to complete to get back to full training?” If the Physio says “Hey I want you to be able to do four forty meter sprints at one hundred percent with no issues, then you’re ready to full train”. You need to be confident that you can complete those spirnts because when you retrun to your sport your going to have to perform a sprint and you want to make sure that you’re not gonna re-injure yourself.
Make a plan
Using the hamstring example, think of rehab like how you make time for your sport and your training. Really all you’re doing now is just replacing that training with that rehabilitation process. It’s a great thing to actually use a diary, or a calendar to specifically put when you’re gonna do those exercises/rehab sessions. In the acute phase of an injury, sometimes the Physio requires you to do quire a fair bit of rehab. They might be really low level exercises, but you have to do them frequently, three, four, five times a day. In these circumstances set an alarm, i.e. “Do my rehab exercises” you spend five minutes doing your rehab exercises, it’s done. Now your one step closer to getting you back to playing. Remember every time you don’t do a session, you’re now staying at exactly in the same place. Time doesn’t heal your injury, you heal your injury. You are the controller of your destiny, you are the one who’s going to get you back to return to performance.