Getting Active Again

Getting Active Again

April 15, 2013

So you’ve been sticking to your home exercise therapy program and you’ve been making great progress, feeling better and better every day. Your joints feel stronger, the pain is greatly lessened, and you are feeling more flexible and enjoying a great range of motion. In other words, you are eager to get back to the physical activities you enjoyed before.

This is great! The whole point of doing any course of home exercise therapy is to get you back to feeling healthy enough to enjoy all the activities you did before. There is nothing quite as rewarding as being able to lace up your shoes, and start getting active again. It makes all the time you spent going through your treatment program worthwhile!

When Should You Get Active Again?

It is important to give yourself the necessary time off from physical activity to fully heal, lest you risk accidentally re-injuring yourself in the process. You also don’t want to wait too long, as you can end up getting stiff or losing the conditioning you worked hard to achieve. This is especially an issue for athletes. Our best advice is to work closely with your medical professional. As soon as they say you are able to return to being active, get back out there – but carefully.

Tips and Tricks for Staying Healthy

It is always important to gradually return to physical activity after any kind of injury, no matter what originally caused you to experience knee pain. Here are some great tips that will help you return to being active at the right time and in the right way.

  • Before you can return to your previous level of activity, try out some alternative exercises that don’t involve your injured joints. If you enjoyed running, for instance, try swimming, weight training, or rowing, which are less hard on your knees.
  • Don’t expect to be right back to where you were before you started to experience pain. Begin slow and ramp up gradually on a weekly basis until you get to full activity within six weeks. For example, if you used to run six miles a day, develop a schedule that has you starting with less distance and reaching six miles at the end of six weeks
  • Listen to your body and let discomfort be your guide. If something starts to hurt, stop what you are doing, cool down and rest.
  • Wearing braces can help protect the joints and provide an extra level of support while your muscles and joints are getting stronger. This is especially important when you first begin to become active again.

Slow and Steady Wins This Race

As your joints heal and you become more and more active, the single most important piece of advice that you can take is not to push yourself too quickly. The best thing you can do is to take it easy, become active gradually and ease back into physical activities. Don’t be afraid to try a little more each day, and ease back into things. If you go easy on yourself at the beginning and let yourself keep healing, then you’ll get better even faster.

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