Sports Injury Rehabilitation – What Is It?

February 28, 2021

Injuries are common while participating in sports, training exercises, competitions, or fitness activities. It can happen to athletes of all ages and skill levels. The first question after a sports injury will probably be, “When will I be able to play again?” The answer may depend on the type of injury and what the doctor will tell you. But you will most likely undergo sports rehabilitation to help you return to your activities quicker, and in a safe manner.

Sports injury rehabilitation is a structured program for people who have sustained sporting injuries. It is designed to allow the injury to heal completely and prevent further damage. It treats a range of conditions including strains, sprains, ligament repair, shoulder dislocation, tendonitis, surgery rehab, and more. A sports injury rehabilitation program often involves a number of approaches such as pain relief techniques, mobilizing, strengthening exercises, and functional skills.

How Sports Injury Rehabilitation Works

Before beginning treatment, the first step is getting an accurate diagnosis from your physician or sports-injury specialist. This is to identify any predisposing factors to injury and any other health-related disorders. You will then be prescribed with a tailored recovery plan to return to your optimum function. Sports injury rehabilitation incorporates evidenced-based therapeutic interventions such as biomechanics, exercise rehabilitation, manual therapy, massage, trigger point therapy, and more.

Adhering to a rehabilitation plan and schedule is critical to fully recover after an injury. The methods will vary depending on the case of each patient, but the general framework is relatively consistent. Here are the following stages in sports injury rehabilitation:

  1. Promote healing – The initial phase of treatment focuses on regulating or reducing pain and swelling in order to allow the body to heal. It will likely include getting appropriate rest, taking medications, or using protective a cast, sling, or tape. This is to ensure that the affected area is protected from experiencing any more damage.
  2. Restore motion – Once pain and swelling have subsided, moving the injured body part will not be as difficult. Thus, you can begin with your soft tissue and joint mobilization training as prescribed by your physiotherapist. You will perform specific flexibility exercises suited to your injury to restore your range of motion. Depending on the injury, trigger point sports massage is sometimes applied to relax the muscles and provide additional flexibility.
  3. Recover strength – During the recovery period, athletes often experience muscle weakness and a loss of endurance. Sports rehabilitation aims to minimize muscle loss and strength deficits through cardiovascular endurance and strengthening exercises. Stationary cycling and pool activities may be recommended.
  4. Recover function – This phase includes restoring coordination and balance, agility, speed, and other sports-specific skills. The last step to rehabilitation is recovering the patient’s sport-specific function. The patient may be asked to participate in short tune-up events or to train with teammates. If the athlete is already physically and mentally prepared, he can return to play.

Sports rehabilitation & Return to play

During and following return to play, the physiotherapist will also educate the patient on the prevention of reinjury. Injury prevention involves identifying and managing risk factors with athletes, such as avoiding injurious postures or movement. Any sports injury rehabilitation program will improve your recovery in a number of ways from relieving pain, increasing range of movement, to building up weak muscles.

If you need help with injury recovery, consult with a physical therapy Dubai clinic today! The experts at Scandinavian Physiotherapy Center DMCC are trained to get you moving again and help you maximize performance levels after injury. They create sports injury rehabilitation plans that are custom suited to each patient. They also offer musculoskeletal physiotherapy, manual therapy, deep tissue massage, and other treatment modalities. Contact +971 4 551 6126 to book an appointment.