Returning successfully to sport after being injured is key. Randall Cooper recently sat down with Mick Hughes, an Australian trained physiotherapist to ask him what his Top 3 Tips were to do this as successfully as possible.
Teamwork is Dreamwork
It’s important to get a good health professional around you, someone that can take you all the way from injury through to return to sport. Crucially, it may not just be one person, and it’s important that we look at diversifying and making sure we are tapping into many different health professionals. From a physio point of view, I know we should be looking outside of our own skill set sometimes, and if the person has return to sport goals, I think we should be working collaboratively with our athletes to achieve that goal.
A good team of health professionals is absolutely a must.
Consistency and commitment are key
From a programming point of view, I’m a huge believer that two or three exercises done relentlessly and consistently, trumps a complicated program that very rarely gets done. I think that’s key, and as a health professional we need to get to know our athletes really well. We need to know where their time is spent, how much time and energy they have to devote to their rehab. If they’ve only got time for two things then we need to give them two things to make it as simple as possible to get it done.
Don’t create barriers with athletes to get a program done, if it’s going to whittle away their time and leave them frustrated and feel like they’re failing rehab. Consistency and commitment is so important.
Allow for breaks
Importantly with the long term rehab stints, those that are 6 - 9 months and longer, allow for breaks.
It’s important we periodise our programs so that you're taking planned breaks to make you feel like you’re actually going to rehab in a really nice undulating way. If you’re just building a program block on top of another block, and just constantly building, it sets you up for failure. I’ve seen that quite a lot, a guilt free break every six to eight weeks especially through that mid to late stretch can really help, I often see people get sick and sore and then just burnt out without it.
Give the person a guilt free week off where they can do whatever they want to do, it allows them to freshen up and come back for the next 6 week block, then they can come back in a better place and it allows them to build and progress nicely. You always periodise in training, so the same should be done in rehab.
Check out the full podcast where they discuss restoring muscle strength after ACL surgery, in the latest episode of The Journal Club with Randall Cooper here: