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Beyond physical therapy: 5 tips to help you recover from a sports ...

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Abigail Lufkin
Casey Cooper
Hannah Halvorsen


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Los Angeles
Orange County

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Positivity     44.48%   
   Negativity   55.52%
The New York Times
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Getting hurt is a risk of the physical activity we do to stay in shape, but research shows that the way you approach your injury can help you heal.Nothing jolts an active body like a sudden hamstring sprain, shooting back pain or knees that just decide to buckle during your daily routine. We ask ourselves, "Is it all just downhill from here?"Here's how to adapt and give yourself space to bounce back.Recognizing these negative emotions and then letting go of them is the first step toward healing, says Lufkin.Our reaction is biological, says Dr. Casey Cooper, a sports psychologist who works with professional athletes, teams and families in Orange County, Calif. "People know about adrenaline, but there's also cortisol and other other things that, when added to the bloodstream, will increase inflammation and make recovery more difficult."The way you approach your injury, like most any setback, can help you heal."There is really good research that suggests that your mindset, your attitude, your self-talk during your recovery will impact the duration and longevity of recovery," Cooper says.For example, a recent study shows people with positive outlooks had fewer repeat heart attacks, even if they had a family history of heart disease.And another shows participants with generalized anxiety disorder who practiced replacing negative thoughts with positive ones showed significant improvement.Let's say you injured your knee and are having trouble walking up stairs – which just so happens to be this writer's problem right now. It's good for you, Cooper says.Many people who experience a sports injury are high-achievers who have had decades of access to instant information and feel their bodies should instantly heal once they find all the answers online, notes Cooper. What saved Lufkin, she says, was that she could still use a stationary bike while healing her broken collarbone.With my bad knee, I know hiking is out for now, so this past weekend, I tried Pilates.

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