Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Returning from injury

Almost all athletes encounter an injury throughout their life, the more intense and competitive exercise you complete the greater this prevalence becomes. Once an athlete becomes injured their chance of being re-injured in the future are increased by 20-50%. The susceptibility generally results from the following factors:
• Returning to exercise prematurely, with the injury not fully recovered.
• Not rehabilitating the injury correctly.
• Not strengthening the areas, which initially caused the injury.

So many people return to physical activity prematurely, whether it be peer pressure issues, motivational issues, mood or even mentality that you are fine, most of the time it leads to re-injury. The following two areas discuss issues involving getting injury back to full strength and even furthering strength, once this has been achieved then a return may be possible. A process should be followed in coming back to training, it will progress from easy, low intensity exercises (Jogging, sprinting, stretching etc) and progress to harder more intense activities (agility, contact, strength etc) and finally sport specific at match intensity. These levels shouldn’t be attempted until the previous level has be completed at 100%. Once all these stages have been completed repeatedly and thoroughly, with conjunction of completion of other two factors, the client can then return to normal activity

Obviously, rehabilitation is a vital issue. If the prescribed rehabilitation process is not followed thoroughly the injury will never heal, the area will never strengthen and return to its initial condition. The rehabilitation process normally involves getting the injury back to it normal strength before being injured. It typically incorporates increasing strength to a stage past pre Injury State, therefore leading on to the next topic, strengthening areas where injury occurred. Obviously there were some deficiencies before the injury occurred, hence it happening, so this indicates that the pre injury level must be increased before returning to activity. Strengthening of the injured area and surrounding muscles and tendons will minimise the occurrence of re injury, by increase stability and strength of surrounding areas it will increase the injured areas strength and stability also.

By incorporating the above three factors into the process of returning from injury, you can largely decrease the incidence of being re-injured, or even sustaining another total different injury.

Sports Injury Bulletin: Special Report. & Peak Performance #262.

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