Debunking the Myth of Rest-Only Recovery

The Importance of Movement and Exercise for Injury Recovery

When we experience an injury or aches and pains throughout our body, we naturally assume that we should rest to allow our bodies to heal. While rest can play a role in the recovery process, too much rest can actually hinder our progress. We’ll explore why rest isn’t always the best solution for recovery and how exercise and movement can be essential in promoting healing. We’ll also discuss the impact of various injuries on recovery and the importance of finding the right balance between rest and exercise.

Why Too Much Rest Can Be Detrimental to Recovery

Our bodies operate on a “use it or lose it” basis, meaning that inactivity can lead to stiffness in our joints and the weakening of our muscles. When we solely rely on rest to recover from an injury, we risk deconditioning our muscles and joints, which can prolong the healing process. This is because our bodies require movement to maintain flexibility, strength, and proper blood flow. By engaging in light activity and gentle stretching, we can help maintain our range of motion and support the healing process while avoiding the negative effects of prolonged rest.

The Impact of Tendinopathy on Recovery

Tendinopathy is a common injury that can occur around any joint, resulting in pain and weakening of the tendon. This type of injury is often caused by repetitive stress or overuse, making it a common issue for athletes and individuals with physically demanding jobs. Resting can help alleviate the pain associated with tendinopathy, but it won’t do anything to strengthen the affected tendon. In fact, the pain is likely to return once regular activities are resumed if the tendon hasn’t been properly strengthened. This highlights the importance of incorporating targeted strengthening exercises into the recovery process.


The Role of Progressive Strengthening in Healing

In the case of tendinopathy, progressive strengthening is essential for a successful recovery. This approach helps prevent the injury from recurring by gradually building up the tendon’s strength. It’s important to minimize rest and avoid further weakening of the tendon. Exercise should be prescribed and supervised by a trained therapist to ensure the tendon isn’t overloaded and can strengthen properly. This might involve starting with isometric exercises, which involve contracting the muscles without moving the joint, and gradually progressing to more dynamic exercises as the tendon’s strength improves.

The Importance of Balancing Rest and Exercise

Rest can undoubtedly play an important role in the initial stages of recovery. However, it’s important to remember that rest alone won’t always lead to a full recovery. A balanced approach, incorporating the right types of treatment and specifically targeted exercises, is crucial for healing and preventing further injury. This might involve alternating periods of rest with gentle movement and stretching, gradually increasing the intensity and duration of activity as the body heals. By working closely with a healthcare professional, individuals can develop a personalized recovery plan that takes into account their unique needs and circumstances.


When recovering from an injury or dealing with aches and pains, it’s important to recognize that too much rest can sometimes hinder our progress. By understanding the benefits of movement and exercise, and working with a trained therapist to develop a tailored recovery plan, we can promote healing, strengthen our bodies, and ultimately get back to our regular activities. Remember, finding the right balance between rest and exercise is essential for a successful recovery, so don’t hesitate to reach out to BodyViva to talk to one of our health care professionals for guidance on the best approach for your specific situation.

Check out Rob’s video below for more info on the importance of balancing rest and exercise in injury recovery