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Osahon Okodugha: How Professional Athletes Recover from Sport Injuries So Quickly

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Injuries during sports are very common, and almost inevitable for athletes. A good number of athletes have sustained injuries such as ankle and knee sprains, dislocations, cartilage tears, shin splint, and the most frequent and acute one is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). An ACL injury occurs when the tissue connecting the thigh bone and shin bone at the knee tears. Problems with the ACL could be severe and require surgery. This occurs during certain sports such as basketball, skiing, football, and lawn tennis.

The legendary Mikel Obi who sustained an injury during the 2010 premier league requiring surgery recovered rather well, and performed spectacularly after his injury. Other prominent footballers, like Victor Osimhen and Ike Uche, also sustained knee and shoulder injuries simultaneously, which had them both benched for a couple of months but were able to recover and return to the field.

Amateur players experience similar sports injuries, and have their careers end prematurely due to a lack of adequate attention and information. One then begins to wonder how these top athletes are able to recover from serious injury and resume playing. The truth is that they are able to take certain measures to achieve optimal recovery and return to the field in months. 

There are measures you too can take to treat and recover from a sports injury quickly.


Maintaining a strict healthy diet is essential for the overall well-being of athletes. Athletes require a dose of anti-inflammatory foods, vitamins, and minerals such as nuts, tomatoes, fatty fish, berries, and so on. They are effective in reducing inflammation and helping tissue repair.

Expert Intervention

Highly qualified specialists should be involved in the treatment and recovery process of the athletes. It is very essential for an expert to examine your injury and determine if you will need a doctor to perform surgery, a physiotherapist and a rehabilitation team for a full return to play. In most cases, such as ACL, you will require all the expertise you can get.


Physiotherapists play a vital role in an athlete’s return to play. With physiotherapy,  athletes may return to the field earlier than usual. 

With physiotherapists, you’ll have a one-on-one examination, evaluation and care, exercises, use of pressure garments, stretches, thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, electrotherapeutic modalities, and so on.


Truth is, to access good post-injury care, you’ll need funds, which many upcoming athletes do not have. Professional athletes are usually able to access and follow through with physiotherapists, and frequent physiotherapy/physical therapy sessions, state-of-the-art surgical equipment, and experienced surgeons because they have the means to pay for them.

Many upcoming athletes are usually able to pay the financial cost to get back on their feet, which is why it is important to reserve funds for situations like this. 

Self discipline and Motivation

Taking your return to play as a challenge can help one recover a lot faster. For many, being a professional athlete is enough motivation to want to get back to play as soon as possible. Professional and amateur athletes need to adopt an unrelenting desire to overcome the injury and recover.

How Long Will My Sport Injury Rehab Last?

Initially, you might need therapy every day for one hour and eventually, the sessions may be reduced to a few times weekly depending on the severity of the injury. Sports injuries have historically ended a lot of sporting careers, regardless, there have been cases of near miraculous recovery from a lot of pro-athletes with the help of a physiotherapist and other professionals. 

If you are a pro or amateur athlete, or know an athlete with an ACL or any sports-related injury, make sure to look for a licensed physiotherapist to start your rehab journey. You also shouldn’t wait until you sustain a sports injury before seeking professional expertise. Being in touch with one beforehand can give you access to advice on injury prevention, and improved gameplay.




Photo by Julia Larson from Pexels

Osahon Okodugha is a Healthcare Consultant, Physiotherapist, Clinical Director, and Founder of St. Joseph's Physiotherapy clinic. He obtained his first degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Ghana, Legon, and Masters Degree from the University of Lagos. He is passionate about healthcare in Nigeria and Africa, and is dedicated to improving the physical therapy and rehabilitation structures and outcomes in Nigeria. He often publishes health and disease prevention/management content on the St. Joseph's physiotherapy blog

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