When you love being active, especially when you're playing a sport, the worst thing to happen is getting injured. It can take weeks to get you back on your feet, and you can forget about playing sports again anytime soon.
Now, how is it that professional athletes can injure themselves, but be back on the field, or on the court, in a matter of days? Do they have some magical powers allowing them to heal so quickly? Maybe there is some secret ointment or medication they have that allows them to heal at a rapid rate. Believe it or not, the answer might be a lot simpler than you thought.
So how do they do it?
Well, to start, professional athletes are in prime physical condition. They train their bodies to prevent an injury in the first place. So when they do get injured, they are already in good shape and in good health, which aides in their speedy recovery. However, this isn’t necessarily the reason they rehab faster from an injury. When an everyday person twists their ankle or pulls a muscle, it could take them a few days to get to the doctor to start their treatment. Then, they typically will spread out their physical therapy sessions over the course of a few weeks. On the other hand, when a professional athlete is injured, they get immediate treatment. A perk to being a professional is, having a team of doctors and trainers whose job is treating injuries the moment they happen.
Having a professional there from the moment you are injured has a few different advantages. When you are injured, your body reacts to the injury by swelling. The trainers immediately apply ice and compression to the injury, which keeps down the swelling. Then, the trainers act fast to determine exactly what the problem is in order to find a remedy. They are also able to determine right away if an X-RAY or an MRI is needed, or possibly bring in a massage therapist. Regardless, the athletes are always told to rest, apply ice, apply compression, and elevate the injury, no matter what the injury is.
Along with being seen by a trainer and starting treatment right away, these athletes’ jobs go from playing sports to focusing on healing. Unlike everyday people, who have to fit their treatment around their full time jobs and families, professional athletes get to spend their entire day concentrating on recovering. An injured athlete can have physical therapy multiple times a day. They have a team of professionals to help them get better, like physical therapists and one on one yoga instructors. Many athletes even have equipment like hot tubs and icing machines at their own home, making treatment easier to get. Also, some teams will fine a player if they skip a physical therapy session. Some athletes have been known to overuse painkillers and other prescription medications as a way to speed up their recoveries. They feel pressure from the team to get back to playing quick. This, however, isn't what the trainers and therapists advise to do for quick healing.
Trainers don’t just help the athletes heal quickly, but they help prevent injury in the first place. They monitor the athletes while they workout. The trainers also look at the type of sport the athlete plays and determines the best workouts for them to do in order to avoid injury. If an athlete complains of back pain, the trainer will evaluate the athlete’s workouts to determine the cause of the pain and find an exercise to help get rid of the pain. Preventing an injury is the key to keeping a player in the game.
Even though a lot of hard work and time has to go into rehab for professional athletes, it’s not some unheard of miracle treatment getting the athlete back in the game so quickly. There are no magic powers that are making them better, just a lot of will power, time, and resources. So while most average people can’t expect this type rapid healing, we at least know the truth behind why athletes rehab faster from an injury.