Injuring yourself through sport is devastating, so you want to invest in the best help you can get to recover and return to the game you love. Finding a sports physiotherapist to work with takes some careful consideration because you want to ensure you’re going to receive the best possible treatment.
There are 5 important things you should expect from your physio to help you return to sport following an injury.
1. Assess Early and Often
It is far too risky just to guess what is going on regarding your injury so thorough assessments are absolutely essential. Your physio should undertake a range of different assessments throughout your rehabilitation.
Diagnostic tests will determine the injury and its severity. Other assessments such as testing your range of motion, will track your injury recovery. Assessments that focus on strength are critical as they will highlight any deficits and the results can be used to compile an exercise program.
There are 3 key phases during rehab:
● The Initial Assessment
Your first consultation with your physio will involve a number of different assessments to measure where you are at physically. This will allow the physio to clearly diagnose your injury and be able to estimate a recovery timeline. The information from the first assessments will also be used to prescribe the initial treatments and exercises you need.
● Regular Testing
Repeating assessments through your recovery is essential so your physio can monitor your progress and make sure the treatment plan is accurate. Regular testing allows for changes to your rehab program, so it is always at a suitable level for optimal recovery.
● Return to Sport Assessment
There are a certain series of assessments required before your physio will give you the ok to return to playing sport. They will want to be confident that you will be able to perform well, safely and with minimal risk of re-injury (or a new injury!) The qualified team at Melbourne Sports Physio use specialist advanced equipment for assessing clients prior to returning to sport.
2. Recovery Goal Setting
Your assessments will give your physio the information they need to aid your recovery and setting goals will provide a pathway to your return to sport. Setting goals will keep you accountable and are also important to ensure no key elements of your rehab are missed along the way.
Some goals will be set with input from both you and your physio, to be clear about what needs to be worked on to reach your target health and fitness level. Your physio will set other goals that relate to any deficits that appear during the assessments. These goals will help keep you motivated and on track with your designated exercises.
3. Suitable Exercise Program
An exercise program is vital for returning to a level of performance necessary to return to playing sport. Early in your rehab process your sports physio will create an exercise program targeted specifically to you and your injury and will take you through it in detail to make sure you perform each exercise safely and with good technique.
Many physios can even offer videos and instructions via an interactive app, so it makes the exercise program easy to complete and you’ll be able to communicate with your physio if you come across any difficulties.
Exercises should change along the path of your recovery, to keep up with your improvements. A gradual increase in intensity will safely build up your strength and movement.
4. A Graduated Return to Sport
Recovery from injury is usually a fairly slow process, even for relatively minor injuries. Therefore, your body needs time to adjust to the loads and demands of your particular sport. Your physio should never rush the rehab process because it will most likely end up with you being injured again.
Expect your physio to work with you to slowly get you back into the game. Most plans to return to sport take at least 4 weeks and often include small amounts of training and gradually building up to full training before returning back to full competition.
5. Involvement in All Parts of the Rehab Process
There must be trust with your physio and you should feel comfortable with them. After all, they are there to help YOU so all goal setting, decisions and changes should be made in consultation with you. If something doesn’t feel right, ask questions. Ultimately, a physio needs your input to assist you with the best rehab process for you.
Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy specialise in rehabilitation for returning to sport. If you have been injured and are keen to get back to performing at your best, book an appointment for post op physiotherapy with one of their experienced physios today! Their goal is to have you moving well again as soon as possible.
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