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Hyderabad: Making a comeback after an injury is always a challenge not only for professional sportspersons but also for amateurs. Quite often an injury, if not properly handled, could become a career-ender for a professional while amateurs simply give up the sport that they so much love.

However, it is not impossible to make a strong comeback after sustaining a sports injury, if individuals follow a proper rehabilitation programme. In fact, strict adherence to an injury prevention programme also helps in preventing frequent niggles while pursuing sports.

“To make a safe comeback, an injured athlete must undergo an intense properly planned criteria-based rehabilitation programme. Such a rehab plan helps them achieve their previous fitness levels. It must contain a combination of strength training, proprioception and plyometric training,” says certified tutor London Shoulder Clinic and chief physiotherapist, Yashoda Hospitals, Dr G N Sumanth.

Usually, sports injuries involve muscles, ligaments, tendons or joints and the rehab criteria will be based no the kind of sports and the type of injured organ or tissue. Evidence suggests that criteria-based rehab is superior to other rehab protocols, says Dr Sumanth.

Rehabilitation consists of non-operative rehab, pre-operative and post-operative programme. “Physio must interact with surgeons to know the intraoperative findings and surgical approach to find about any grafts and quality of bones of patients. Based on such details, the rehab has to be designed,” he says.

The rehab must have precise goals like reducing swelling, muscle activation, limb loading, etc. “Later, rehab enters an intermittent phase where the focus is on limb loading progressively and emphasis on neuromuscular control,” he said.

Later, the rehab plan enters the advanced phase, which focuses on improving strength, power, endurance and improving neuromuscular controls. “In this phase, training includes agility, jumping, hopping, landing and pivoting,” he added.



Author: Howard Caldwell