"My doctor told me to take sometime off and rest, but come my injury isn't getting any better?!"
How many of you dealing with pain have been told this by your physician? As a physical therapist, I've heard this hundreds and hundreds of times from my clients seeking rehabilitation for the first time... months after injury!
I get it, there are some situations where relative rest is warranted for effective healing, but I'm a big advocate of active rest and a progressive return to movement. Just because your knee hurts doesn't mean you can't work on the trunk, hips, and ankles... Which is probably why you injured your knee in the first place. Because your knee is stiff or swollen doesn't mean we can't get it to move a little better with the right type of hands on guidance without flaring you up.
I have worked with too many young athletes that have had broken bones or sprained ligaments, casted and released to activity with the instructions of, "Just start off light and move on to full activity as you feel ready." Really?!?!
There are too many variables for a young athlete, let alone an adult to navigate on his or her own with such limited guidance. In addition to their own physical symptoms, they have to deal with the expectations of coaches, parents and teammates. There are just so many layers.
"How much should I push through?"
"Are these symptoms normal?"
"I'm kind of scared to do that move. Is it ok that I still do it?"
Long story short, returning to activity after an injury requires a rehab professional that will take the time to understand you as a person, your body, the demands of the activity, and the other variables that affect your return. In addition to helping you heal your injury, addressing any underlying causes so help prevent future problems as much as possible. Constant communication between all parties will be the key to your success.
Let's get you back as fast, effective and SAFE as possible!
~ Dr. Jason Han, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS, TPI-CGFI