Are you ready to return to sport?

It’s that time of year again, sit ups for Soccor, NRL and AFL footy, netball the list goes on. Perhaps you are nursing an injury that won’t go away?
Sports Injuries are a common occurrence for those who exercise. The amount of time away from exercise varies according to the type of
injury, severity of injury, body part involved and other situational factors. You may experience pain, swelling, stiffness, weakness
or decreased range of motion.
In this article read the guidelines on when to return to fitness after an injury?
Attempting to return to an activity before proper healing of the injury puts you at
risk to re-injure yourself.

So how do we start ?

You should have pain-free full range of motion. The injured body part should have
full movement and flexibility with little or no discomfort. A common mistake people often
make is, once the pain has gone I’m healed, but what they fail to understand is they still
need to go through a few more steps. See your Myotherapist.  If you have not rehabilitated the injury properly, compensations could still be hanging around
also. These factors can leave you with over 50 % greater risk of re injury.

Before you can return to strength: for starters the injured body part(s) should have asymmetry and be approximately equal (90- 95
percent) to the opposite side before returning to full activity.

Guidelines for returning to sport

• Minimal pain or swelling: Some mild discomfort, stiffness and/or swelling during or after exercise is to be expected during the initial return to activity. Ice can be used to alleviate these symptoms.

• Functional retraining: (For surfing see my other article – Have you hung up your wetsuit?) You should be able to effectively perform the specific motions and actions required for your sport before returning to activity. For example, retraining a lower-extremity injury in basketball should involve the ability to run, stop, change directions and jump.

• Progressive return to activity:

Consider starting at 50 percent of normal activity and progress as tolerable. An informal guideline you can use is to progress activity 10-15 percent per week if the previous level of activity does not result in increased symptoms during exercise or the day after exercise.

• Continue general conditioning with cross-training: Doing an alternative exercise allows maintenance of general cardiovascular fitness while not interfering with the healing of an injury. For example, ankle and knee injuries may do well with bicycling or swimming.

• Mental confidence in ability to do exercise: You must feel that you and your injury are ready to perform at the level required for your particular activity.