Return to Play
“When can I play again?” is the question that all athletes want answered following an injury. There are many factors that are involved with returning to sport. Some of the main factors to be considered are:
- Physiological healing: Tissues within the human body will take time to heal following an injury and each heal at a different rate due to their blood supply, extent of the injury and any co-morbidities affecting blood flow/ healing. Whereas simple muscle strains may allow a return to sport in as little as 3-4 weeks, more serious strains (muscular), sprains (ligament), bone and tendon injuries often result in a longer healing process.
- Physical conditioning: Following an injury athletes often require exercises to improve their strength and conditioning. Overuse injuries or injuries requiring a lengthy rest from activity often require a longer rehabilitation targeted towards issues with strength, endurance, proprioception (balance) and flexibility. Athletes of all skill levels need to progress back into sport gradually and should tolerate training in full capacity before returning to play.
- Return to play: Athletes are often rested from activity after an injury to avoid further injury or damage to tissues. Once cleared to return by a physiotherapist athletes may be required to play limited game time initially and progress back to full game time. Athletes need to monitor for symptoms (tightness/pain) that may indicate a risk of re-injury.
Once the above factors have been satisfied and physiotherapy assessment is unable to identify any limitations, athletes are ready to return to sport at full capacity. With certain injuries, particular ligament sprains, taping and bracing may be used to reduce the risk of re-injury. If you have any further questions feel free to call us on (07) 3245 4532.
Capalaba Physio Works