When an athlete has been injured they begin a process of sports rehabilitation training. This is a dedicated group comprised of the athlete, physical therapist and athletic trainer to get results. Each one of these individuals plays a part in deciding whether the athlete will make a triumphant return to the game, or sit on the sidelines and watch someone else play.
We will take a look at the role that each one of these individuals plays in rehabilitating an athlete mentally and physically.
The athletic trainer is usually the first line of defense when it comes to recognizing an athlete’s injury and treating the injury. While many people may discount the importance of an athletic trainer in the context of sports rehabilitation training, there can be no doubt that they play a vital role in the process.
The most significant task of a good athletic trainer is observing the injury of an athlete and deciding whether or not they are well enough to keep playing. If the injury is severe and requires more treatment than the trainer is comfortable providing, the athlete is referred to an orthopedist or physical therapist.
Their role does not end there; once an athlete returns they must make sure that they are following the regimen provided by the physical therapist and must watch vigilantly for a relapse in healing
The physical therapist also plays a significant role in sports rehabilitation training. This begins once an athlete is referred to them via the orthopedist or athletic trainer. The most important part of physical therapy is figuring out how to get the athlete playing as they were before the injury quickly.
Through various treatment methods such as temporary immobilization, modalities, range of motion and strengthening exercises; the physical therapist will be able to establish a long term plan for recovery. They will also establish a schedule by which the athlete can return to regular playing frequency. The second most important part about physical therapy is making the athlete understand that sports rehabilitation training is not only physical but mental. A good physical therapist will always exercise caution before allowing an athlete to continue their normal exercise load.Therapists have the ability of seeing the long term health of the athlete.
Another vital aspect of a successful sports rehabilitation training program is performed by the athlete themselves. They must first take the difficult step of admitting that if they continue playing while injured that it is too risky. Enduring the pain while playing will cause more serious damage especially without some form of physical therapy. When the athlete goes to the trainer with their problem it is usually decided when to begin physical therapy. Any athlete that wants to get back in the game must follow the treatment plan provided by the professionals.
However, this is only part of the healing process. A great deal of healing is done mentally. Athletes will need to know how to play safely and intelligently following the injury. By having the proper mind set instilled in them by their physical therapist and athletic trainer an athlete will see the benefits of having a sports rehabilitation training program.