Rehabilitation is the process of using exercise, manual therapy (massage and manipulation), and therapeutic devices, such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation, to help an injured athlete heal so they can return to sports. It is usually supervised by physical therapists, who recommend a set of exercises for the athlete to do at home to speed the recovery process by restoring range of motion, muscle strength, and aerobic fitness after an injury.
Think that rehabilitation is only for elite adult athletes? Think again. Physical therapists have become indispensable members of the sports medicine team. Rehabilitation is now generally believed to be essential for an athlete of any age who is injured and wants to return to sports. When your child's physical therapist recommends exercises, you and your child need to take rehab seriously. If you don't, your child won't regain full function in the injured area and is much more likely to get re-injured.