Staying active provides many benefits to your physical and mental health, but participating in sports can also increase your risks of sprains and other injuries. If you’ve sprained an ankle or wrist, or suffered a back sprain, it’s important to rest and heal.
How do you know when it’s safe to return to your sport? If you take too much time off, after all, you risk falling out of peak condition and losing your competitive edge.
The sports medicine experts at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, led by Dr. Michael L. Blackwell, can advise you on the best plan to re-engage with your sport, including how long you should rest. We can also suggest strategies to prevent further injury or reinjury after a sprain.
Here’s what we want our new and existing patients from around the Tomball and Kingwood, Texas, areas to know about getting back to sports after a sprain.
Planning your return
When you experience a sprain, you need to seek prompt care and treatment. In addition to rest, you might need splinting, bracing, icing, or even surgical treatment.
The team at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can diagnose your sprain and recommend the right treatment options to support the healing process.
As you continue to heal, take time to plan out your return to your sport. When you’re prepared, you’re better able to respond to your pain levels and physical needs. You may be able to use alternate forms of movement, like swimming, cycling, or weight training, to stay in condition while your sprain heals.
Within a few days or weeks, the symptoms of your sprain should resolve. When you have little to no pain remaining and can use the affected limb with a full range of motion, it’s generally safe to return to your sport.
Talk to your provider at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine about how long you should wait before returning to full physical activity.
Taking it slow
As you return to your sport, pay attention to your activity levels, and avoid putting too much strain on your still-healing injury. It’s easier to suffer from another sprain after you’ve had one, so it’s important to take care to prevent further issues.
Strong muscles support your joints and tendons, protecting you from sprains and strains. Increasing your core strength is a great way to guard against re-injury. You might benefit from a targeted exercise plan to rebuild strength and endurance after recovering from an injury, including physical therapy.
When you’re ready to get back to athletic activity, make sure to warm up with stretches and easy movements like walking before you start more intensive practice. For the first few weeks after your recovery, start with lighter-intensity activity and then wait a day to see how your pain levels change before you commit to more.
The team at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine backs you all the way through the process of healing from a sprain and resuming activity in your sport. You can schedule a consultation with our experts by calling now, or book online with our convenient scheduling tool.