We received a request from BKI paintball member Colton Fritz asking about proper rehabilitation. Here is his question:
“How do you rehab muscles or body parts that are often injured when playing paintball? I just received foot surgery and am curious about rehabilitation efforts I could pursue to help strengthen my foot to get back on the field.”
I’m going to start this one off by stating that if you underwent surgery you need to listen to the doctor’s orders on what you can and can’t do. He knows your rehabilitation time better than anyone and will prescribe to you the best advice and treatment along with a physical therapist.
That being said let us dive into this.
Prevention is Key
The best rehab you can take is to take the extra precaution and training to prevent injury in the first place. Think about it, how often do you skip out on stretching or foam rolling, but once you feel a little tight or a kink on a specific area you’re now all of a sudden putting more love into that place. If you take care of your body with proper nutrition, training and do your stretching and foam rolling you will drastically lower your chances of injury. But even with all caution taken, freak accidents do happen. I tore my ACL when I was 21 years old playing at world cup. That shit sucked but I worked my butt off to get back on the field stronger and faster than ever and so can you.
In this order, focus on this when you have an injury, surgery or not.
- Inflammation: If you have swelling in the joint you need to care for it right away with ice. Ice will thin the blood and help get that bad blood out of that area. Here is a four step process to follow when dealing with inflammation know as RICE. Perform this 3-5xs a day for 20 min each day until swelling is gone.
- Range of motion: Get your full range of motion back. Do this by performing static stretches (stretching and holding) for 20-30 second intervals multiple times through the day. You have scar tissue build up from the traumatic event to the joint and that scar tissue is going to restrict your range of motion.
- Strength: You need to start performing single joint movements to build the strength back up. Depending on how severe of an injury, you may be required to rest for several weeks before any activity and then ease your way into it with just bodyweight.
Stay Positive Through the Process
Finally, from the start of your rehab my best advice is to stay positive. Understand that this is just a speed bump on your journey to success and we all face them. Don’t give up, don’t get lazy, don’t get fat, don’t skip rehab steps. Instead, focus on how much you want to get back on the field. How hard you’re going to work and be better than ever. This is what separates winners from losers, the ability to fight through adversity and deny failure.