When Will I Recover? Average Healing Times for 5 Common Injuries

When Will I Recover? Average Healing Times for 5 Common Injuries

Average healing times of common sports injuriesYou may have just suffered an injury and are wondering when you can return to your usual level of activity again. Learn how long it might to get better, and how you can speed up the process.

Ankle sprain

Average healing time: 6 – 12 weeks.

At the point of injury, apply the R.I.C.E. method – rest, ice, compression and elevation – to effectively deal with ankle sprains.

Hamstring pull

Average healing time: Hamstring injuries can take anywhere between 3 – 6 months to heal. 

On occasion it can even take up to a year to heal, often due to inadequate physiotherapy and stretching, and returning to sports too early. Recovery usually requires with working on rebuilding muscle to prevent a repeated injury.

Shin splints

Average healing time: The discomfort will usually resolve in a few days with rest and limited activity. However, this condition can persist if not recognised early and treated.

Identifying the root cause of this injury is important. Is the condition due to over-training? Is it a problem with the surface on which you do your activity? Perhaps running on a softer surface like a running track may be beneficial. If you are a heel-striker when running and have a flexible flat-foot, an arch support may be required.

ACL tear

Average healing time: Medical treatment for an ACL injury begins with several weeks of rehabilitation and your rate of recovery will depend on how bad the injury is.

Whether you undergo surgery or not, rehabilitation plays a vital role in stabilising your condition and helping you return to a normal lifestyle. Rehabilitation will focus on reducing pain and swelling, restoring the knee’s full range of motions, and strengthening of muscles especially the hamstrings, quads and glutes.

Tennis elbow

Average healing time: Although the condition often gets better on its own, this injury can take between 3 – 12 months to fully heal. 

During this time, rest is extremely important in allowing the tendons and muscles heal.  Targeted rehabilitation and stretches are critical for this process.

 

Article reviewed by Dr Michael Soon, orthopaedic surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Hospital

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