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Are Plateaus Bad?

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

It means no improvement...but it also means you haven’t taken a step back. I like to think of them as the body taking some time to get ready for your next step in healing.

Other times, we don’t realize we are still improving because the changes are so small. It’s time to focus your attention on small improvements like gaining a few degrees, or being able to walk 3 more minutes than a week ago.

There are times where plateaus are a sign that things will start to regress. I focus on two things to make sure we’re still on the right path.

1. Are the exercises challenging enough (too much or too little of a challenge is not good)?

Rehab is about stressing the area enough so the body gets the message that you’re going to need it to do more than you can do right now. The stress has to be slightly more challenging than you’re able to do right now. Pushing too much may irritate the area or add compensations that you don’t need.

2. Am I taking care of myself (eating well, sleep quality)?

You can’t expect the body to be able to recover from tissue damage if you’re eating poorly. While we don’t exactly know what the ultimate diet for injury recovery is, we definitely know that junk food is not your best choice.

Sleep quality is also important. Sometimes you won’t be able to control how well you sleep (pain, slings/casts, etc). It's the times where you can control your sleep that you should take advantage.

Some reasons for plateaus need a doctor to have a closer look.

If you’re not taking a step back, it’s only a matter of time before things start to improve again. Keep going!


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