Injured? Here's something to read about!

Play On 

I hate the Canberra winter.  

I very much doubt many of you are excited about it but the truth is there is a silver lining here. With winter comes footy season. Being a new Australian I’m an equal opportunity code enthusiast. I’ll watch whatever’s on, and in general root for whoever’s closest to Canberra.  

It’s no secret we at Accelerate have our favourite local teams (Come on Easts and the Blues) but we treat athletes from all sports, clubs, and levels. Every athlete we see is treated with the same priority in mind; getting you playing at your best as soon as possible.  

Our main focus in accelerating your potential is to get you back on the court/field/floor better than when you came off, whatever the circumstances. In this post I’d like to help you through our thought process in getting you back to what you love. We are a team, and if we are on the same page, we will reach our goals faster. 

Some things just take time 

I’ll start with the not so pleasant bit. Some injuries, especially ones where a structure is damaged, take time to heal. Our bodies have biological healing time frames that unfortunately cannot be rushed. They are not definitive, but you can’t expect a broken bone to heal in a week and neither do we. In instances like these the aim is to brace or support the damaged structure, giving it time to heal, whilst also giving it an appropriate amount of load to promote tissue regeneration.

With injuries like these we’ll refer you to a sports doctor when necessary, but will always give you a time-frame, based on the best available research, for your return to sport, and work with you to make sure you’re ready when the time comes. While waiting for something to recover/heal it’s a great time to work on other areas of deficiency in the body that we can identify with an assessment, which serves a good way to stay motivated while returning form injury.

Playing with an injury but not through it 

The next level of injury may be one in which nothing is significantly damaged but still presents with significant pain or weakness. These are tough. The scale of these injuries can vary greatly player to player and body part to body part. Also, with these types of injuries, we understand that you may really want to play and often feel you can, but your safety is our first concern. We don’t want things to get worse which would ultimately delay you getting back to doing what you love. Here’s where we as physios come into our own. We’ll work together to come up with a plan with input from you and your coaches regarding load management, appropriate exercise, and game/training adjustments. We’ll track your progress and modify things along the way so that you can reach your goals and get back out there because we’re not happy with you playing at 80%. We want the best possible you lacing up your boots! 

An ounce of prevention 

Sometimes injuries are unavoidable. Being unlucky is a factor in sport and try as you might these things do happen. Other times injuries are issues that could have been addressed long before they become problematic, ideally before the start of the season. If you’re unsure, get it checked out. A screening can easily identify areas of concern that can be readily treated. I’d rather teach you how to squat than spend 6-9 months rehabbing a knee injury! 

 Good luck this season!

Author Elliot Rechtin, Physiotherapist

Image 1. Estimate Healing Times for Various Injuries Courtesy of Dr Caleb Burgess, DPT.

Image 1. Estimate Healing Times for Various Injuries Courtesy of Dr Caleb Burgess, DPT.