How to return to sport with confidence after an injury

When you’re passionate about a sport, it’s easy to rush back into it after an injury. However, not letting yourself heal up properly or going full throttle on your first day back off the bench could cause further issues.

Here are three important steps you should take to return to playing sport as quickly as possible without worsening a severe injury.

1. Book an appointment with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)

Seeing an exercise physiologist will ensure your injury is properly assessed, so that you can receive the appropriate treatment and recovery regime required to promote healing. Put simply, exercise physiologists are experts in prescribing exercise as medicine.

At Brecken Health Care Bunbury, our AEPs follow a biopsychosocial model of care, which means they consider all the biological, psychological, and social factors that impact on your health.

From a patient perspective, this means you’ll benefit from a more integrated approach to your treatment that addresses not just your physical injury, but any mental or social challenges you may be facing, such as anxiety or reduced confidence you may be experiencing due to your injury.

Your exercise physiologist will help you create a sports rehabilitation program that is specific to your sport and type of injury, so that you can get back to functional movement as soon as possible.

Part of your first consultation with your exercise physiologist will be determining the goals of your return to sport program, which will be based on your needs. Such goals may include:

  • A return to your pre-injury capabilities
  • Improving your strength and endurance
  • Building tolerance to demands of sport to reduce risk of re-injury

Treatment for your injury could range from a full gym program to targeted exercises, combined with other services provided by your exercise physiologist like lifestyle coaching to keep you motivated and engaging in the right behaviours necessary for your recovery.

2. Use exercise as medicine

Once you’ve got a recovery plan in place, your exercise physiologist will complete a graduated rehabilitation plan for your return to sport.

Depending on your injury, there are lots of different exercises that can be included in your recovery without hurting yourself further, such as simple stretches, gentle yoga, resistance bands, or pilates.

Your physio may even show you some massage techniques, which you can do yourself to relieve tension and improve blood flow to the site of injury.

3. Take preventative measures

Being able to return to playing the sport you love is exciting, but it’s important to remember your body’s limits and take a preventative approach to future injuries.

Following completion of your rehab program, you should be careful not to overexert yourself and manage any risks for reinjury when training or playing sports to avoid sustaining chronic injuries.

While it can be difficult, a key part of returning to sport is ensuring that you take care of yourself and know your limits. This is vital to avoid reaggravating an injury or creating new injuries.

Looking for an accredited exercise physiologist in Bunbury to help you on your recovery journey? Get in touch with us here to book an appointment at our Bunbury clinic today.