During the injury rehab process, some pain/discomfort is expected and is normal. You can use pain as a guideline, if a movement or exercise makes your symptoms worse or causes more than a 3/10 level of pain, it is better not to do this exercise at this time in the rehab process. Muscle fatigue and tightness is fine. Additionally, if you are compensating with other muscles or performing an exercise incorrectly due to pain, discomfort or tightness, modifying or changing the exercise is advised.
While not essential, a diagnosis can help tailor the rehabilitation process, ensuring the exercises cater for your injury and also offers time scales as a guidance as to when to progress to the next phase of rehab, which movements to avoid at different stages, and expected recovery times.
If you have had surgery, the treatment and exercise protocols will vary depending on many factors to do with your injury. Some exercises may not be appropriate until certain timescales after surgery and markers must be met before progressing through each phase of the rehab process.
Rehab is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Consider each person’s unique anatomy, differentiating symptoms, their body’s own healing times, diagnoses, protocols, individual backgrounds, fitness levels, pain thresholds, mobility, strength, length of the injury, starting points and future goals.
Prevention vs Recovery
Preventing vs recovering from injuries can require different exercises and protocols. Some exercises may not be appropriate for some individuals (e.g. those with previous multiple injuries to an area or those with hypermobility), other individuals may need more advanced exercises (e.g. different sports with different demands). Prehab exercises are essential in preventing injuries and recurring injuries, it is important to assess and recognise any muscular imbalances, weaknesses or mobility restrictions as a starting point to addressing these issues.