Athletes can be sidelined for weeks or months due to common sports injuries such as ligament tears or sprains. It might give the impression that exceptional athletes recover from injuries more quickly than the everyday person. The Orthopaedic Center’s Sport Medicine specialists explain what everyday athletes can do to speed up their recovery after an injury or surgery.
The time it takes for elite athletes to recover from injuries is significantly less than the everyday athlete. Dr. John Greco works with all levels of athletes, from the professional athlete to the weekend warrior, and he understands what factors play in their favor.
“The elite athletes are extremely motivated. They are itching to get back to competing in their sport. It’s often their job, so you have to get back to it quickly,” Dr. Greco says. “Often they’re in better shape than the average person, so their muscles have already been pre-trained, which makes a recovery easier.”
While it may be unrealistic to expect the average athlete to recover as quickly, Dr. Cantrell says there are steps anyone can take to help with their recovery. “It is essential that the recovering athlete get proper rest and nutrition. When fatigued, the athlete’s ability to participate in their recovery can suffer. Regarding nutrition, we must give our bodies the proper elements it needs to heal and recover.”
Physical therapy is essential when it comes to getting patients back to their sports. According to Dr. Davis, “we perform the surgery to repair the ligaments and tissues, but physical therapy is just as important in getting patients back to sports as quickly and safely as possible. I tell my patients that their outcome depends on them taking responsibility for their own recovery and attending physical therapy two to three times a week, essentially managing the healing process.”
TOC is honored to have the most comprehensive team of sports medicine doctors in Alabama. Our team consists of seven fellowship-trained sports medicine providers and three providers with a special interest in sports medicine. More than 40 athletic trainers from 24 schools in the North Alabama area work together to provide top-notch care for TOC’s student-athletes.