CostaSpine

If you suffer an injury whilst playing a sport, the most important part of recovery is to set a realistic timeline to return, let yourself heal with the help of sports massage, therapy and any treatments you need, and slowly build up your strength, speed and ability again.

Rushing your recovery and not taking the time you need is the second-worst step you can take in the pursuit of recovery, as returning to strenuous training or even full competition before your body is ready risks a chance of reinjuring yourself.

The worst step you can take, of course, is to not take any time away at all, and it is surprisingly common for athletes to not only try and return to the pitch as soon as they can but to try to shake off injuries and play through them.

One of the most famous examples for its sheer absurdity is golfing legend Tiger Woods at the 2008 US Open Golf Championship, who was suffering not only from the aftereffects of knee surgery but also suffered from a double stress fracture of his left leg and damage to his anterior cruciate ligament. By all rights, he should not even be walking.

The sensible step to take is to spend time resting and recuperating that leg, and slowly easing into training after several months of recovery, aided by sports massage treatments to build up circulation in the leg.

Tiger did not do this, needless to say. He was motivated to push through the pain with the hope that his body would hold up and he would recover later.

He played through significant pain, ultimately playing 91 holes of golf, including four 18-hole rounds plus a full playoff round and a final sudden-death hole.

He would ultimately win, but whilst it would be his last major tournament win for 11 years, it highlights the psychology involved in playing through an injury and how recovery is about the body and the mind working in tandem.

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