How long should you wait to exercise after an injury?
I have grew accustomed to my daily ritual of exercising, how long after a joint injury should one wait to start exercising again?
It depends where the joint is and how bad the injury is but in general from a background of sports I would say 2-3 months
If I need to take a break because of an injury I give myself some time to recover and then test my body. When I can no longer feel the injury I would start exercising the area again but I would take it easy at first to make sure it does not act up again. While you are waiting you might want to do some research on how to avoid injuring yourself. Some of the exercises I do are supposed to put strain on the muscles but if they are not done correctly they put more strain on the joints.
There are lots of different exercises. Maybe you could work other areas of your body. Recently I needed to give my shoulders a break so I focused on my lower body. If you are doing high impact exercises you might want to find ones that are easier on your body. You could exercise daily while the joint heals. Another option would be to learn something new like meditation or a healing exercise like tai chi, qigong and yoga. Even though you just sit there meditation has a long list of health benefits and it feels great.
The simple answer is don't exercise until the pain or inflammation is gone. You can exercise through "discomfort" but you need to recognize the difference between discomfort and pain.
Obviously the length of how long you should wait will changed based off of what was actually injured. Tendons take months to heal while muscles typically take weeks due to the increased blood flow that muscles receive.
The key when coming back from an injury is to watch for inflammation. The best way to combat inflammation is with ice and rest. Once that starts to subside then light stretching in the injured area will help the rehab process. Ultimately you know your body better than anyone else so be honest with yourself and if pain still resides in the area then don't exercise it and in time you will recover.
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