4 Tips to Improve Your Range of Motion While Recovering From a Sports Injury
A significant factor in how you feel during your recovery period from an injury is your range of motion. When you have a closer to normal range of motion, you'll start to feel as if you can move like you used to. If your current range of motion needs some improvement, here are four things to try.
Before you just discount this as stretching and move on, the keyword here is 'static'. Static stretching is when you hold a particular stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. This holds the muscular tissue in an elongated form. As a goal, try to work up to holding the stretch for up to five full minutes. Static stretching should be performed at the end of your workout for the best results.
Dynamic stretching is considered a more active form of stretching where you're moving your body through its available range of motion. As you move in and out of your range of motion, you'll find that you'll be able to stretch a little bit further each time. This type of stretching is performed before a physical therapy session for best results.
One of the most popularly used methods for enhancing range of motion is myofascial release. This can be performed manually by a physical therapist or done by self-assisted manipulation. If attempting myofascial release on your own, you may find it useful to utilize tools like a foam roller or a lacrosse ball. This type of release allows the fascia, which surrounds and runs through your muscles, to become more relaxed. When this happens, the muscle is able to move through its range of motion much better.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
PNF is becoming another popular method for enhancing range of motion after sporting injuries. This is a form of stretching that works in stages. You'll start by stretching the intended muscle to your ROM limit, where you feel a stretching sensation. Hold the stretch for between 10 and 30 seconds. Then, stretch the muscle even further. Hold for the same time period. Then, stretch even further. It would help if you worked in sets of three to four when performing PNF.
Improving your range of motion can greatly facilitate your recovery. The above are four very effective ways to enhance your range of motion. The best part is that all of these methods can be performed at home as part of your recovery regiment.