When injured, conventional thinking suggests that rest is prescribed and the injuring activity is avoided. This is undoubtedly a safe approach. But suffering an injury at the wrong time can lead to missing out on important activities of daily living: exercise/physical training, sporting events, school and work. This reality can be discouraging and stressful. So, how necessary is rest in order to recover from an injury? And is it possible to recover from an injury while continuing to participate in your activities?
A group of doctors and physical therapists in Sweden examined just that. They took 38 active individuals diagnosed with an Achilles tendon injury and split them into two groups. Both groups undertook the same rehab program, but one group was instructed to rest from all activity and the other group was instructed to continue with their activity utilizing a “Pain Monitoring Model” (shown below):
After following the participants for an entire year the researchers concluded that there was no significant difference in the recovery rate of those who rested from activity and those who continued to take part in their activity utilizing the pain monitoring model. This suggests that rest for injury recovery may not be as necessary as previously thought and for certain injuries rest may have no impact on the recovery rate and long-term outcome of the injury.
So, if you are having trouble managing an injury and returning to activity come into the Armoury Sports Medicine and Performance Clinic, where our healthcare team can provide you with a thorough assessment to determine whether or not a return to sport using a pain-monitoring model may be an option for you!