Return to Activity
Your goal is to get back to work or play as fast as possible — without increasing your chance of
re-injury or prolonging recovery. Although each injury is unique, there are some common guidelines to pacing yourself
correctly. Here is some information on phases of recovery, and signs to watch for as you return to activity.
Your Game Plan
A successful game plan is different for each individual. It begins with early diagnosis and treatment
from your doctor and continues with proper recovery and rehabilitation. Treatment may include medical care, surgery,
taping and wrapping, wearing a brace and/or physical therapy. As always, check with your medical care provider for
individual treatment plans.
Proper Conditioning Aids Injury Recovery Time
A high level of conditioning before injury can go a long way toward a speedy recovery, and can help
prevent injury in the first place.
See Our Injury Prevention Tips and Stretching Exercises »
While Your Injury Heals
The level of activity you can tolerate during injury recovery is different for each individual. Your
doctor is your best guide for your specific treatment. If you get the go ahead to begin some slow recovery conditioning,
your doctor may recommend non-weight-bearing activities such as swimming or rowing, or weight training exercises for
uninjured muscles as a starting point.
Your doctor may also recommend hot or cold therapy, physical therapy exercises, and/or the use of
supports, wraps or braces until the injury heals or during activity.
General Guidelines for Safe Return to Activity
- Make sure you are pain free
- Wait until swelling is gone
- When full range of motion returns
- When full, or near full, strength returns
- When you can perform the activity in proper form with little or no pain.
As always, check with your doctor for return to activity treatment and advice.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a doctor with any questions regarding a medical condition.
Do not disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read here.