Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Phases of rehabilitation

There are three key phases of rehabilitation namely :

  • Acute phase (48 -72 hours)
  • Sub-acute phase (72 hours – 2 weeks)
  • Intermediate (last upto 6months)

Phase 1 Acute

This is the first 48 – 72 hours after the incident.


  • Redness
  • Heat
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • inflammation
  • Loss of function

Short term goals

  • Decrease pain , swelling and inflammation
  • Increase range of motion and control pain
  • Maintain cardiovascular conditioning
  • Isometric contractions if immobilized
  • Exercise the opposite unaffected limb may cause cross over reaction
  • Muscle stimulation
  • RICE used to control swelling

Phase 2 Sub Acute

This phase last from 72 hours to about 2 weeks. At this stage, inflammation is decreasing and tissue repair begins. As soon as pain and swelling are controlled complete immobilization is no-longer necessary. Exercise begins, warm up the area prior to attempt exercising and R.M.O (Range Of Motion) will allow tissue to respond more efficiently. Ice injured area after working out to prevent secondary swelling and effusion.

Short term goals

  • Reach full range of motion
  • Increase muscle strength, power and endurance of all muscle groups
  • Maintain cardiovascular endurance to pre -injury strength
  • Begin proprioception training

Amount of time needed for tissue repair is based on these factors :

  • Degree of injury
  • Location of injury
  • Age
  • Nutritional status
  • Medical problems
  • Medication

Phase 3 Intermediate

This phase can last up-to 6months depending on the extremity of the injury. It includes tissue repairing, changing and remodelling to restore function. The phase is characterised by short., medium and longterm goals and the athlete will be off the field of play for some time. Experienced and knowledge rehabilitation team is needed to bring the athlete back to play since there are many factors ranging from physical ,psychological and nutritional.