Returning to Sports, Post Injury

James Fowler Physical TherapyAnkles & Feet, Arms & Shoulders, Hips, Legs & Knees, Movement, News, Pain & Pain Management, Sports TherapyLeave a Comment

Get back to doing what you love

If you’ve been injured while playing a sport, you probably want to get back out there as quickly as possible. Your coaches, trainers, and doctors probably want the same thing, but also want to make sure you do so in a safe and smart manner. 

The best way to do this is by harnessing all the information you have at your fingertips and bring it to your physical therapist. The more you know about the injury you have, the better chance you have of a speedy, stress-free recovery. By developing a clear list of issues, your physical therapist can not only address your physical concerns, but they can also help to lessen any uncertainty and doubts you have about the recovery process. 

At JFPT, we have a series of questions to determine if an athlete is ready to advance to the next level of rehabilitation or ready to return to the field. By following this series of questions and guidelines, JFPT ensures that all clients of all athletic abilities return to their chosen sports confidently and without risk of further injury. Use these as guidelines to prepare you for a PT visit due to a sports injury.

What is the client’s athletic history and the level achieved? What was the intensity of training in their prospective sports?

  1. Has the client been in sports rehabilitation before and how successful was the rehab?
  2. What are the physical requirements of the sport and position the client plays?
  3. Is the game stop-and-start (like baseball) or is it free flow (like soccer)?
  4. Does the athlete initiate movement from a low squat position or from an upright position?

Has the client achieved symmetry between the injured side and the uninjured side and at 100% strength?

  • What are typical diagonal movements in the sport?
  • What are the changes in direction (forward and back, hard cut left, hard cut right, back slides with pivot right or left, quick pivot right on a spot, quick pivot left on a spot)?
  • Does the sport play vertically and if so, how much and in what orientation?
  • What is the athlete’s dominant side and how much do they favor it?
  • What was the athlete’s performance level prior to injury?

Was there an underlying issue that caused the injury? Is so, was enough work done to improve it and prevent it from happening in the future? 

  • Is there a video of the client prior to the injury?
  • What is the level of acceleration and deceleration, explosiveness from dead start, ability to change direction, and overall athletic ability of the client before the injury?

Is the client mentally prepared to return to playing their sport, or are they either too eager or too nervous to return?

  • What are realistic rehabilitation goals for the client?
  • What is a target date for the client to return to their sport?
  • How committed is the client to returning to their sport?

Whether you are an experienced athlete or a beginner, there are fundamental stepping stones and specific questions that need to be answered in order to move through each phase of the recovery process. These questions should always focus on your ability to return to your sport of choice at 100%. Simply getting by is not a long-term solution and will ultimately lead to future issues down the road. It may not be the most glamorous process, but it is definitely worth it in the long run!

We look forward to working with you on your physical transformation. Contact us to get started.

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