Return to Sport and Injury Prevention post COVID lockdowns
The global pandemic of COVID 19 has changed our lives in so many ways. One of the biggest changes and challenges we have faced, is our ability to come together as a community, especially when it comes to sport and exercise participation. As a sense of normality returns, many people of all ages are participating in organised sport, returning to the gym or competing at an individual, local, state, national level.
With this return to exercise and sport participation, we need to consider how to return to exercise safely and consider how to prevent injuries, both acutely and over time.
Preseason training has historically been the time in which sports persons prepare for the upcoming season, with aerobic conditioning, strength training and sport specific drills and skills being at the centre of this. This is also a time in which injuries are monitored, assessed and rehabilitated. With the advent of COVID and the disruption to most sport seasons, most if not all sports at a community and local level have not had the benefit of this preparation.
As a result, this may predispose sports persons to injury.
The reason for this is, progressive aerobic conditioning, strength and resistance training and sport specific drills/training, allow the body to adapt to the physiological demands of the sport, optimise performance and protect the body from injury.
Now more then ever, it is important to prepare for return to sport.
Top Tips for Injury Prevention and Return to Sport.
- Monitor workload and training load. A 10% increase in load compared to the week prior and an overall increase of 20% load from the month prior, increases the risk of injury.
- A reduction in sport specific skills training (such as agility training) may lead to a reduction in sport performance.
- Sports training programs should include aerobic conditioning, resistance and strength training and most importantly, sport specific skills such as agility, running, jumping and throwing.
- Don’t ignore any “niggles” or pains during sport. Seek Professional advice regarding injury management.
- Remember nutrition, hydration, environmental factors (such as ground surface and humidity) all affect performance.
For more information on injury prevention and strategies to optimise sports performance, please contact us here at Kinetic Sports Physiotherapy.