Rehabilitation After a Sports Injury

Rehabilitation After a Sports Injury

If you partake in sport more than likely at some point you will probably suffer a sports injury. It happens to all of us but the way we deal with injury rehabilitation is the key in order to move forward. If sports injuries are not treated correctly in the initial stages even more tissue damage potentially could take place. 

Although the methods for sports injury rehabilitation vary with each individual case the framework for recovery is relatively consistent. At Wellthy Clinic we have many years experience and these are the outlines of our recovery program.

The 5 Stages of Rehabilitation for Sports Injuries

1 Rest And Protect The Injury

The first stage to recovery is all about not causing any further damage to the injury. Then to let the body start its own natural wound healing process. The body’s first reaction to injury is inflammation and usually pain which usually take up to 6 days. Inflammation is your body’s normal protective response to an injury. This natural defense process brings increased blood flow to the area, resulting in an accumulation of fluid and sometimes swelling. Keep the injury protected adequately, if necessary use a cast or sling and allow your body’s inflammatory cycle to start healing your tissues. Then the profilerative phase/ tissue healing (around 14 days after the injury). Finally remodelling which can take up to 2 years depending on what has been injured muscles, tendons, ligaments and/or bones. 

2 Recover Your Motion

The next stage of the rehabilitation program is to recover some motion in the injured area. The swelling and pain can make it difficult to move the injured body part like you used to.

Therefore gentle joint mobilisations to increase joint range of motion and encourage lymphatic drainage to optimise your recovery with Osteopathy could be beneficial. Likewise sports massage to reduce muscular tensions would aid in recovery. However, if the injury and soft tissues are really painful, then a lighter treatment such as Cranial Osteopathy may be more suitable. It is at this stage when trying to do too much too soon can result in major setbacks. Stretching too far or starting an activity too early can slow or even reverse the healing process. If you take your sporting injury and sports rehabilitation seriously get advice from a professional, ideally a sports osteopath.

3 Recover Your Strength

Most people are shocked at how much muscle weakness and loss in range of movement happens during injury recovery. Objective measures of muscle weakness and wasting are commonly noted after injury and surgery within 4-6 weeks. Minimising muscle loss and strength deficits are important rehabilitation goals set in your recovery programme. 

Often due to extended recovery times from sporting injuries cardiovascular endurance can decline. At Wellthy Clinic we recommend low impact Pilates strengthening rehabilitation exercises specific for you and your recovery. Also non weight bearing safer forms of exercise without fear of injury are swimming or some form of exercise within the pool. Also static cycling is considered a safe exercise to improve cardiovascular fitness during recovery.

The key to maximising recovery are performing exercises that minimise aggravation. Also maintaining good form and the correct technique, and strengthening local, regional and central muscles groups.

4 Recover Your Form and Function

The last of your injury rehabilitation stages is to be able to function the same as before the injury. This phase of injury rehabilitation can include restoring coordination and balance, improving speed and agility. At Wellthy Clinic we would recommend Reformer Pilates to increase your flexibility, balance and overall strength for your deeper postural muscles. By combining Pilates and sports specific training this will give you a better balance of training activities. Gradually build up your sport specific skills starting at simple then onto the more complex movements.

5 Proactive Prevention

Once you are feeling better with your sports injury we then want to proactively keep on top of your tensions. Studio Pilates to work on any muscular imbalances to improve symmetry to increase your sports performance. This can help to prevent future injuries from occurring by improving your balance, flexibility and strength. From working with many athletes we find the combination of Pilates and sports specific training will help improve their performances and timings.

Rehabilitation After a Sports Injury

What is The Right Treatment For Me

It is important to see an experienced practitioner who can firstly diagnose your injury, educate you on your steps to recovery and implement an effective treatment plan. The best treatment plans are custom suited to each client and should also take into account your lifestyle and any factors that might have initially contributed to your injury or impact your activity moving forward.

What Are The Consequences Of Disregarding The Recovery Plan

As we have stated before moving too soon on any of the recovery stages could result in an extended recovery time. Also there is the chance of causing even more damage than the original injury.

The All Inclusive Wellthy Clinic

At the Wellthy Clinic we have seen many sporting injuries and created many sports injury and rehabilitation plans. We have the facilities and knowledge to take you all through the recovery stages. For an accurate diagnosis and complete treatment plan, see our rehabilitation experts. Relying solely on pictures or descriptions of exercises can be misleading.

First Visit To The Osteopath

When you visit your Osteopath your first session will be getting to know each other and your presenting issues. A case history will be taken to gather information about your history, current health, sporting injury and understand your goals. Our London Osteopath can aid in reducing your pain levels and recovering your motion. An Osteopath emphasises the restoration of the structure and function of the human body by encouraging its innate ability to heal itself. They use various techniques on muscles, joints and viscera to help relieve tensions thus improving mobility.

Proactive Programmes

Pilates is a great way to strengthen your core muscles and improve your balance. In fact if you attend our reformer pilates Marylebone to improve your flexibility and muscular strength then you are more likely to prevent future injuries.

Your diet impacts greatly on your health outcomes and your body’s ability to heal. Nutritionists provide evidence-based information and guidance about the impacts of food and nutrition on health and wellbeing. By speaking with a Nutritionist you can optimise your body’s inflammatory cycle to optimise your recovery. 

Rehabilitation After a Sports Injury Conclusion 

At Wellthy Clinic we are experienced sports injury experts who have an integrated approach to support you through the 5 phases of sports injury rehabilitation. As Osteopaths we initially diagnose, educate and support you with passive treatments through the ‘recover your motion’ phase. We will teach you the best Pilates rehabilitation exercises to help you recover your strength, form and function.  

Matthew Glithero

Matthew Glithero

Matthew is an Osteopath (MOsT) who graduated from the University College of Osteopathy.


Oliveria Gonzalez et al (2016) Wound Healing – A literature review

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