During injury rehab, setbacks are not a “bug”; they’re an essential feature.
Setbacks are so crucial that rehab without one wouldn’t be complete.
Wait, what? How is it possible that rehab, WITHOUT any setbacks, could be considered incomplete?
That actually sounds ideal, right?
Zoom out with us for a moment and look at why people start the rehab process in the first place.
When our clients come to us, they’re in pain and want us to help them get out of it; pretty straightforward so far, right?
Except that’s not really why they’re seeking help.
How do we know?
When we ask them how long they’ve been in pain, oftentimes, the answer is years. Maybe they’d sought help in the past, maybe not, but they don’t come to us until they’re afraid of losing something important in their lives.
- Playing on the floor with their grandchildren
- Picking the baby up out of the crib without pain
- Schlepping the family and a cooler to the beach
- Being able to jump into a pick-up basketball game at any time
- Coaching a little league football team and being able to run around and throw passes to the kids
People can deal with excruciating pain as long as they can still participate in life. It only becomes too much to bear when they have to say no to the things they find most meaningful.
Setbacks are the key to making sure you never get stuck in that scenario again.
Setbacks are the fastest route to self-efficacy. In other words, setbacks are where you gain the tools and confidence you’ll need to stay out of pain in the long run; that’s why rehab is incomplete without at least one setback.
Rehab without setbacks leads to you not having the tools, confidence, and real-world experience using those tools to deal with the inevitable bumps and bruises that happen as part of living an active lifestyle.
Like it or not, eventually, you’ll get injured again. Maybe it will be the same body part, or perhaps it’ll be something completely unrelated, but it will happen. When it does, you’ll have all the tools in your belt necessary to come out the other side without compromising the most meaningful areas of your life.
In summary, setbacks are hard and can be scary; that’s ok; they’re an essential part of the process. It’s during setbacks that you develop the physical, mental, and emotional tools necessary for navigating future discomfort and flare-ups with confidence.