Right after an orthopaedic injury or surgery, your steps on the road toward recovery are often clearly laid out. You’ll probably have numerous appointments penciled across your calendar—a follow-up visit with your health care provider here, a trip to have imaging done there—and plenty of specific instructions on what to do (and not do) while you recuperate.
But what happens when you’ve completed your medical treatment, yet aren’t quite back to your old self and your favorite physical activities? Are you on your own from there on out?
Not at all, says Jenna Warren, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., with Carilion Clinic Sports Medicine.
“A post-rehabilitation program can guide you through this in-between period," she says, "and back into the activities you love.”
Not Just for the Pros
Sports medicine is not just for competitive athletes, says Jenna, and it's for active people of all ages. If you participate in any physical activity or sport, and you have an injury that is keeping you from it—whether that injury happened during the activity or somewhere else—you might benefit from sports medicine treatment.
A sports medicine care team may include a sports medicine physician, physical therapists, strength and conditioning coaches and certified athletic trainers.
The Benefits of Post-Rehab
“In a sports medicine post-rehab program, your treatment plan will be designed to restore the specific movement patterns required by your activity or sport,” Jenna says. That’s part of what makes a sports medicine post-rehab program different from a general physical therapy program.”
- Strength training
Patients can benefit from a sports medicine post-rehab program after treatment for:
- Ligament and tendon repair
- Muscle tears
- Overuse injuries
“Each patient’s experience completing a post-rehab program will be different depending on what activity they want to get back to and what injury or surgery they’ve had,” says Jenna.
If you’re recovering from an orthopaedic injury or surgery—or are planning to have an orthopaedic surgery soon—talk with your health care provider about your activity goals and whether a post-rehabilitation program can help you reach them.