Dr Soon Yee Hoong Michael
You 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 is an injury that occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This causes the ligaments that hold the ankle bones together to stretch or tear, resulting in pain, swelling, or restricted movements.
Consult an orthopaedic specialist if you have pain and swelling in your ankle and you suspect a sprain. You may also benefit from physiotherapy to aid recovery.
You can do self-care for your ankle sprain using the R.I.C.E approach for the first 2 or 3 days.
Medications such as over-the-counter pain relievers can be used in most cases to ease the pain of a sprained ankle.
The average healing time for mild to moderate ankle sprain is between 6 – 12 weeks for full recovery. You can probably go back to playing sports by 12 weeks but you must be careful in the first few weeks of recovery as you may prone to spraining your ankle again.
|Severity||Damage to ligaments||Recovery time|
|Grade 1||Minimal stretching, no tearing||1 – 3 weeks|
|Grade 2||Partial tear||3 – 6 weeks|
|Grade 3||Full tear or rupture||Several months|
A hamstring is a group of 3 muscles running along the back of your thigh that allow you to bend your leg at the knee. A hamstring pull or strain occurs when one or more of these muscles gets overused. A minor strain is classified as a grade I hamstring tear whereas a completely torn hamstring is classified as grade III.
These injuries commonly happen if you don't warm up before exercising, or if you have tight quadriceps or weak glutes. They may appear as sudden and severe pain during exercise with a snapping or popping feeling or pain in the back of the thigh and lower buttock when walking.
Mild to moderate hamstring pull usually heal on their own. To speed up the healing process, you can do the following:
Recovery time depends on the severity of your hamstring injury. The average healing time can range between 6 – 12 weeks. On occasion, it can even take up to a year to heal, often due to inadequate physiotherapy and stretching. The most common cause of re-injury is returning to sports too early. Recovery usually requires working on rebuilding muscles to prevent repeated injury.
Shin splints refer to inflammation and pain in your shins due to stress on the shinbone and the tissues that attach muscles to your bones. In medical terms, this condition is known as medial tibial stress syndrome.
Shin splints feel like throbbing and aching of the shins when you are actively moving. It is a common injury that can result from flat feet (collapsed foot arch), shoes that don't fit well or provide good support, working out without warm-up or cooldown stretches, and weak ankles, hips, or core muscles.
Shin splints often heal on their own. You can take some of the following measures to facilitate recovery:
The discomfort will usually resolve in a few days with rest and limited activity. However, the average healing time may range between 6 – 12 weeks the condition is not recognised early and treated.
Indications of a full recovery are being able to jog, sprint, and jump without pain, push hard on spots that used to be painful, and when your injured leg is as flexible and strong as your other leg.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the major ligaments on your knee. An ACL injury is a tear or sprain of the ligament that most commonly occurs during sports that involve sudden stope or changes in direction, jumping, and landing.
When an ACL tear happens, people often report hearing a loud 'pop' or 'popping' sensation in the knee. The pain is severe and there is rapid swelling. You will also lose your ability to move or bend and flex your knee.
Depending on the severity of your injury, treatment for an ACL tear may include the following:
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. The average healing time may take 6 months or longer.
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 is a type of tendinitis (swelling of the tendons). It causes pain in the elbow and arms and usually develops over time due to repetitive motions that put too much stress on the tendons, causing it to tear.
Tennis elbow usually heals on its own. Here are several treatment you can try to speed up recovery:
Recovery from a tennis elbow differs from person to person. The average healing time is 3 – 12 months for full recovery.
You know you have fully recovered when there is no longer swelling in your elbow, you can flex your elbow without difficulty, there is no pain when you grip objects or bear weight on your arm or elbow, and when your injured elbow feels as strong as your other elbow.