Injury Rehab: How to get back into the game healthy..
It’s all about injury rehab and how to get back into the game healthier these days. You want to be stronger than ever, and able to withstand regular play. That’s the key to injury rehab done right.
Treating the injured athlete will require the use of a health care team. This team includes the athletic trainer, physical therapist, personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and doctor. And, of course, there are the parents, teammates, classmates, and family members.
Part of any return-to-play program after injury rehab will include a strength and conditioning program to prevent future injury. The principles of strength and conditioning apply to any injury rehab program as well – with supervised modifications customized for the particular injury.
As part of the sports medicine team, my role as an orthopedic surgeon is often not only to treat the injury but to figure out a good program to let the young athlete continue to train without causing harm. It is important to identify the exercises that should be avoided and those that can be modified to keep the athlete conditioned during the time of injury rehab.
Every injury presents its own challenge. But there are some general observations about the various types of injuries, and how to prevent them in the first place.
1. MUSCLE STRAINS
Compression wraps, warm-ups, and stretching after workouts and game play can help prevent muscle strains.
2. SHOULDER INJURIES
In general instability of the shoulder can be anterior or posterior. Strengthening the rotator cuff and scapular muscles may be the most important thing that the athlete does to prevent shoulder injury.
3. ANKLE SPRAINS
can be prevented in some athletes by wearing a semirigid brace. In addition, a properly fitted shoe that is not worn down on the outer sole, and is not worn down on the heal is an asset for protecting the ankle in sports.
4. KNEE INJURIES
especially the ACL, in the female athlete may be avoided and less risky if the gluteal, core, hamstring, and quadriceps muscles are strengthened with weight training and jumping exercises such as the squat jump. Research supports doing these exercises.