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Staying Motivated Post-Surgery

If you've ever had surgery, or are managing a long-term injury, you would know how hard it is to stay motivated throughout your rehab process.

It can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel from the initial post-operative phase to returning back to sport and normal life again. It can just seem so far away!

Rehabilitation can be a long and difficult journey that is both frustrating and at times hard to muster the motivation.

We understand this feeling, that's why we've put together some Rehab Tips to help you or a loved one stay motivated throughout this long process.


Whilst you are protecting your acute injury or recovering post-surgery, there are many things you can do to keep the rest of your body conditioned and moving.

This can be simple things like squats while in a sling, or seated upper body exercises while in a moon boot or wheelchair. Once cleared by your surgeon or medical professional, you can even participate in non-weight bearing activities such as deep water running, easy stationary bike cycling or gentle walking.

Your physio can provide you with guidance and options depending on where you are in your rehabilitation timeline.

Staying Involved

Stay involved with your team/coaches. Use your time on the sidelines to help your team - analyse the game, provide feedback to your teammates, talk with your coaches, fill water bottles or cheer on your team.

All these options can help you still feel involved with the sport you love while you're recovering, and the social value of interacting with teammates and friends can be a healthy influence.

Visual practise by either watching others perform, or visualising yourself executing your skills has been shown to be a powerful tool for skill development.

Healthy Habits

Boredom and restricted activity levels can easily lead to an excess of food, binge video streaming and altered sleep patterns. We are all human!

As hard as it may be, maintaining a healthy diet and regular sleep patterns is important for both providing your injury/surgery with optimal healing environment and also your general feeling of wellbeing and mental health.

Have a rehabilitation plan and stick to a schedule as best you can!

Goal Setting

Rehabilitation should be a collaborative process when you feel involved and a part of the decision making.

Your physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can help you set short and long term goals so you have a clear plan and vision towards your return to sport.

Have these goals somewhere visible where you can refer back to them often. Reflect on them as your rehabilitation progresses, remind yourself how far you've come from where you started. Take some photos or videos along the way to look back on.

A clear vision on your journey back to sport is a must for maintaining motivation!

How We Can Help

Our team of physios and exercise physiologists can help put together a personalised Rehabilitation Plan and build goals to help you stay motivated and get back to sport soon!

Book to see one of our physios today here

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