When you think about summer, fun outdoor activities often come to mind. But what if you are recovering from a painful accident or illness? Will you ever be able to enjoy pain-free workouts in the summer sunshine again?
You might be surprised.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Center for Disease Control, known as the CDC, recommends physical therapy for most types of pain conditions over the use of opioids. This is because physical rehabilitation targets the cause of your pain by helping you to rebuild muscle strength and regain joint flexibility. Opioids dull the pain, but they don’t treat the problem that is causing your pain.
There are four ways physical therapists manage pain:
- Manual Therapy
Many studies have been conducted over the years show that people who exercise routinely have less pain. Our skilled physical therapists can identify any number of factors that can be contributing to your pain and introduce you to healing exercises designed to reduce your pain.
This hands-on technique manipulates affected muscles and joints in such a manner that reduces pain. It is often used with other activities that increase movement.
Your physical therapist will ask you to describe your pain history and based on your history will explain what to expect from your treatment and how the treatment works.
In addition to our health care professionals working together to provide you with the best therapeutic exercise plan to fit your individual needs, your participation is vital to your team’s success. Developing a positive relationship with your physical therapy team, and being an active player on that team, greatly impacts your success.
WORKING OUT IN RECOVERY
Everything you have accomplished in your physical therapy sessions has led to this. The key to a pain-free workout during your recovery is to take it slow. Remember, we all had to learn how to walk before we could run.
Before you get started, take a deep breath, and remember to stretch the area. Then do the specific exercises you learned in physical therapy. While you are prepping for your workout, remember that you need to take it slow and to allow yourself adequate time to rest.
A good guideline to follow is to start out at 50% of your normal activity level and increase it by 10% to 15% each week. Don’t forget to cool down and stretch afterward.
BEAT THE HEAT
It is better to start working out again indoors to give yourself a little more time to acclimate to the summer heat outside. When you are ready to take your workout back into the fresh air and sunshine, be sure to stay hydrated. Many people make the mistake of waiting until they get thirsty to get something to drink, but when that happens, you are already dehydrated.
Instead, drink 16 to 24 ounces of water before you begin working out, and be sure to drink another six to eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Skipping caffeine a few hours before your workout is another way to avoid dehydration.
Since it is usually hotter during the middle of the day, work out before 10:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m.
When you choose rehabilitation therapy at The Arbors, there is a team effort of highly qualified therapists, nurses, and other health care professionals who create individualized plans for every patient. Our caring medical professionals carefully craft a treatment plan for the whole person that includes your personal rehabilitation goals and developing safe summer exercise habits. Call us or schedule a tour today!