Everything About Rehabilitation Services for Professional Athletes

Professional athletes may experience a variety of physical injuries. While a mild sprain or strain may heal in a week, a severe injury such as a ligament tear can take months. The recovery process is greatly influenced by compliance with rehabilitation treatments. Missing scheduled appointments may cause the athlete to delay their return to sport.

Relative Rest

Athletes need to rest after an injury to prevent further damage. Relative rest is a term used by sports medicine experts like in Burlington physio and sports medicine as a period of rest that is not so restrictive as to impede recovery. Initially, athletes should avoid activity that stresses an injured area. However, gentle range-of-motion exercises and simple isometric contractions have positively affected recovery.

Relative rest helps athletes recover by protecting an injured area while continuing to train the rest of the body. The two main goals of this strategy are to prevent further injury and minimize pain. Depending on the injury, the athlete may have to rest the injured area using crutches, a boot, or taping. The athlete may also wear supportive running shoes while resting the injured area. During the rehabilitation process, they may also need to refrain from jumping during classes. Rest and recovery are critical components of any athletic training program. Rest and recovery allow the body the time it needs to repair, rebuild, and strengthen itself. 

Muscle Re-Education

Muscle re-education is a unique program designed to help retrain the body’s muscles and brain to perform optimally. It helps the body learn new movements and restore nerve signals to muscles, resulting in better strength, coordination, and balance. The new movements are stored in the body’s memory and can be used when needed. The method utilizes a three-dimensional movement technique. The technique helps athletes re-learn their bodies’ movements, which helps them avoid injury. Muscle re-education is especially important for athletes, who must move in all directions to play their sport at its best. However, this constant motion can overwork certain muscle groups and make them dominant. Therefore, athletes must balance the load on all muscle groups and create a muscular synergy in the body. Muscle re-education is also crucial for athletes who have suffered a serious injury and require rehabilitation. While rest is vital for the injured area, the return to play is also critical. The athlete should meet the fitness standards of the team and pass position-specific tests to resume playing.

Return To Sport

Professional athletes face several challenges during rehab, including returning to competition safely, quickly, and competitively. The RTSCC is a multi-phased process focusing on regaining a normal range of motion and muscle activation. This process also focuses on restoring arthrokinematics to normal. The reconditioning phase helps athletes improve skills, force development, and load volume tolerance. Lastly, the performance phase helps athletes return to full practice and competition without limitations. The duration of rehabilitation depends on the severity of the injury. While a minor strain or sprain can heal in a few weeks, complete ligament tears can take months to heal. The athlete must follow the prescribed treatment regimen to prevent further injury. Failure to follow the protocol may delay the athlete’s return to competition. Advanced physical therapy helps the athlete return to training and playing without experiencing new symptoms. A physical therapist also helps the athlete work out the last areas of tightness or pain. Athletes are expected to play their best, so the athlete must return to their sport in the best shape possible.

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