Return to Play Factors and Preventative Actions to Take When Playing Sport

How is injury rehabilitation managed? RETURN TO PLAY

• Indicators of readiness- Pain free and full range of motion. Injured ankle should be flexible. Should have return of strength (should be equal to the opposite side). Minimal pain or swelling after exercise is to be expected- this responds to ice therapy. Mental confidence is also an important factor- the athlete must believe they are ready.

• Psychological indicators- If a player is out injured they often loose confidence in their game and being able to get back on top of their fitness. Sports psychologist can help them overcome their issues.

• Specific warm up procedures- May include a longer and more specific warm up that takes into consideration the injury to ensure that it is fully prepared for the event.

• Monitoring progress- Clinical tests the athlete may undertake to see if they are ready to return to their sport. To see if they have full range of motion and strength. To see if they are mentally prepared to go at full intensity as they would have pre-injury.

• Ethical considerations- Internal + External pressures. Internal pressures may be feeling as though you may loose you place in the team, feeling like your letting your team mates down, or feeling bored without the sport. External may be pressure from family, teammates, or coaching staff to re-join early. They may want you back if you’re a key player. This may lead to taking drugs like pain killers to help subside pain but could lead to further damage of injury!

• Return to play policies and procedures- For adults decision on whether ready or not is made by team coach. For kids usually by family. Establishing a chain of command regarding decisions to return.

Preventative measures. Environmental considerations:

• Climatic conditions: Temperature, Wind, Humidity, Rain, Altitude, Pollution.

• Fluid intake: 400-600 ml at least half hour before activity commences. Weigh self before activity. 200-300 ml every 15mins during...