Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Alright, this is the final blog entry for this injury series. If you missed last week's post you can find it here. I'll be focused more on the process for restoring full range of mobility, getting back to your previous performance strength, and de-sensitizing any tissues that may still be nagging. Here's another disclaimer in case the last two weren't clear.
The strategies should be adjusted based on how severe or intense your symptoms are. DISCLAIMER: Always consult your medical professional in order to provide more tailored treatment that is specific to your injury/condition. This guide in not meant to treat, but serve as a teaching tool to inform the lay person regarding the frameworks around injury management. As a word of caution, should your pain worsen or peripheralize (travel away from the original injury site toward your hands or feet), then either stop or reduce the intensity/motion of the activity. It is likely that you are aggravating the injury site and worsening the symptoms.
Active Range of Motion (AROM): By this time, you should expect to be at full range, however due to the generality of this guide it's possible that you're still restoring full motion. Main point to drive home is to continue watching for compensatory movement patterns that may make it seem like you're getting further than you actually are. Best not to deceive yourself and show your true motion and capability. Also take note of any pain that you may be feeling during the movement which can translate into exercises.
Isometrics: This movement is not necessary much different, although your tolerance should be improved by this point. At this point, you can start to incorporate more dynamic isometrics where you are keeping one joint still while moving another.
Resistance: In this phase of healing, you are hopefully feeling more confident in your recovery and building up intensity. Consider incorporating back into your program more challenging variations including stances, barbell types, speed, and less stable equipment such as bamboo bars, sandbags, medicine balls, and kettlebells. Gradually ramp up the challenge in order to build tissue resilience and reduce risk of aggravation.
In this article, I took out the active-assisted ROM, not because it isn't helpful, but because it doesn't take priority. Hopefully by the remodeling phase, you wont need that extra assistance, but if you do feel free to keep that part in your programming. Main concept regarding remodeling is to challenge your tissues to become resilient, and reduce your risk for re-injury. Fix the mistakes of the past (assuming that it's from technique and not some freak accident) because those will come back to haunt you.
Your body is your temple, and you should treat it as such. Think of your performance on a scale with two opposite ends being novice to professional. Honestly reflect on your progress, especially after an injury, and work from that point forward. If you jump into high level exercises without the proper progressions or preparation, you are increasing your risk for an injury or set back.
If you are struggling with a nagging injury, having trouble progressing after surgery, or just curious on how to get back to exercise safely after time off from the pandemic or another reason, fill out the injury screen request below. I want to help you feel comfortable again with exercise and movement!
In good health,
Dr. James Babana PT, DPT, LMT