Physiotherapy to aid in the rehabilitation after a sporting injury is crucial to get you back on the court/pitch ASAP with the minimal risk of re-injury.
As a physiotherapist I have managed countless athletes from sports ranging from all football codes, netball, elite dancers, triathletes, swimmers, and everything in between. Sports physiotherapy is worlds different to managing the non-sport playing physiotherapy client. An innate understanding of the athlete, their sport, their demands and training schedule, how they play their sport, are all integral components of an assessment and play a role in planning to return an athlete to sport. I take the time to truly understand what the demands of your chosen athletic endeavour are and to develop an individualised treatment and return to sport plan suited to you.
Every athlete is always itching to get back on the court or pitch, sometimes too fast, and some are a little hesitant. I totally understand it either way having been on that side of the treatment table many times in the past. Sometimes it’s best to take a little bit of time and plan out how we go about the process of getting back to sport rather than rushing decisions.
Every physiotherapist should always be planning ahead when dealing with athletes. Every initial consult involving an athlete I will discuss your training and sporting commitments so that we know from the start what your training routine looks like, how long it will take you to recover between sessions. As we get closer we will discuss the intricacies of your training sessions such as how much fitness is there, how much contact, how much gameplay is involved, what adaptations and changes can be made for you. This is all crucial information that you can provide us to help plan your way getting back to sport.
Unfortunately, having worked with sporting teams for the past 5+ years, I hear a lot of people tell me that “physiotherapists are just there to rule people out of playing”. It’s disappointing that that is the perception of our industry, it should be our aim to keep athletes on the pitch/court as much as possible even if it means making adaptations to their training regime. In most cases I will always want athletes doing something rather than sitting on the sidelines watching. It can assist in keeping motivation high, maintaining team cohesion, and minimise loss of game specific skills.
Gradually easing your way back to sport and increasing the intensity of fitness and contact situations is the recommended pathway in every situation. Suddenly returning to sport can often lead to problems down the line as you are unlikely to be prepared to perform the demands of your sport when you are playing. Returning through training is also integral for increasing confidence after your injury. It is essential that when you return to sport that you have 100% confidence. If you display hesitancy you are likely to alter your movements, especially if you are playing a contact sport, potentially resulting in an increased risk of another injury.