So Dr. Josh, when do you think I will be able to get back to jiu-jitsu, Golf, etc?
This is a common question I get within the first couple of days and here is the answer you probably do not like…
As long as it takes! (In all honesty, it often takes 2-3 weeks to reduce pain, but much longer to actually fix the root cause and movement pattern.)
This means that the more effort, energy, and time (usually) you put into this, you can shave down some time on how long it takes to heal.
And I do not mean more reps of an exercise, I mean doing only the things you NEED!
There are many factors that go into healing and the biggest one is ADAPTATION, meaning how long your body takes to adapt to the rehab so that it can FINALLY be ready for the activity.
In order to really judge if you are ready for sports, you need to have a few baseline questions answered.
1. You should know where you started before the injury happened.
2. You should have a baseline at the beginning of your injury.
3. You should have gone through some rehab with progress with progressive advancements in your exercise program!
4. There should be less frequent or minimal flare-ups without excess soreness.
5. Sport-specific rehab, mobility, and drills should be done without pain.
6. Gradual increase in emphasis on sports rehab and possibly even modified play.
7. All these things need to be done for at least 2 weeks WITHOUT any flare-ups of your pain!
Remember, this process is NOT LINEAR! There can be flare-ups, and plateaus, in rehab and that is okay, but you cannot push faster than the body is ready to adapt. Remember, this before you try to get back into sports after you have an injury!