Sports injuries – The Need for Rehabilitation
(adapted from Phil Glasgow, Northern Ireland, by Helen Potter FACP 26 Sept 2017)
Sports injuries are commonplace and present unique challenges in terms of their aetiology, population and potential for recurrence. Athletes are most at risk of recurrence during the months immediately following a return to sport. Effective rehabilitation of sporting injuries has the potential to improve patient outcomes both in terms of the time lost due to injury and the likelihood of recurrence.
It’s important to consider that bone, tendons, ligaments and muscles have different functional roles, and consequently, different histological and mechanical properties. Restoration of these unique biomechanical properties after injury may require a particular volume, speed or dosage of mechanical loading during rehabilitation in order to prevent re-injury. Physiotherapy treatment needs to be specific.
Progression of rehabilitation is guided by the rate of healing of the injured tissues, and the ability of the athlete to safely and effectively perform specific skills. Physiotherapists who are postgraduate trained in Sport and Exercise Medicine have advanced training in clinical reasoning related to the treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries and associated conditions.
Physiotherapy Treatment Aims when Treating Sports injuries:
- Provide optimal care to the injured athlete
- Analyse and diagnose sporting injuries including their relationship to specific sporting activities
- Use management strategies to facilitate full recovery
- Critically evaluate the response of the sportsperson to injury
- Promote appropriate late-stage rehabilitation strategies
- Manage sports injury with evidence-based treatment and rehabilitation techniques relevant to your future activity
- Assess the sports person’s readiness for return to the previous or proposed level of activity
To do this Physiotherapists must:
- Know the pathophysiology of injury and repair and its relevance to exercise prescription
- Understand optimal loading and efficient movement patterns for a particular sport:
- Maximise strength training in sports rehabilitation
- Progress motor control and skill acquisition in sports rehabilitation
- Build a rehabilitation plan
- Use practical strategies to enhance the effectiveness
Call Helen for assessment and treatment of new acute or persistent sports injury problems.
I can see you as soon as possible and start you acute treatment and advice on self-care.
If you are an elite athlete I will refer you to more experienced Sports Physiotherapist.