Any sport has the potential to cause injuries. While the body naturally withstands some injuries, others may have severe and even life-threatening complications. Therefore, prompt treatment is essential to avoid any long-term consequences. Sports rehabilitation plays a significant role in the treatment of most sports-related injuries. In comparison to traditional techniques, modern sports rehabilitation uses a more organised and sport-specific approach. Besides being sports-specific, it is favoured by physiotherapists as it is safe and effective. If you are interested in knowing how sports physiotherapy can help you regain your health and fitness, you have come to the right place.
What is sports injury rehabilitation?
Sports rehabilitation, or “rehab”, is an essential component of sports physiotherapy in Singapore. It helps patients recover from accidents and injuries by easing their pain and helping them restore their strength and mobility in the injured areas. Other benefits of sports physiotherapy include the prevention of recurring injuries and long-term damage. The treatment approach in rehabilitation is multi-disciplinary; it usually consists of a team of specialists such as physiotherapists, physicians, psychologists, and nutritionists. The main goal of this therapeutic approach is to achieve optimal function and pain relief. Furthermore, it helps the physiotherapist assess whether an athlete is fit to resume playing.
Principles of sports rehabilitation
Some fundamental principles of sports rehabilitation lay the foundation for sports physiotherapy. They are:
This essential feature is employed to assess and evaluate an athlete’s physical capabilities. It serves as a guide when selecting the therapeutic interventions required for recovery and is also quite helpful during goal-setting. The analysis may include different performance parameters such as strength, mobility, flexibility, endurance, agility, biomechanics, and mental state.
Why is your mental state being analysed for a physical injury? At times, the injury may heal, but your mental state may not. If this occurs, the athlete will face anxiety issues and, as a result, may suffer from a lack of confidence. Therefore, this needs to be addressed and should not be overlooked in order to avoid any delay in the recovery phase.
The significance and benefit of setting consistent goals in rehabilitation cannot be stressed enough. Goals help with reducing anxiety and motivate the athlete to keep continuing with the treatment programme.
Every individual is different, and so are their needs and goals. Since each individual may respond to the intervention differently, the sports injury clinic in Singapore cannot enlist a pre-set strategy. Therefore, every patient is provided with an individually tailored rehabilitation programme to achieve their specific objectives. This is generally designed after discussing it with the patient. After all, what is the point of having a good plan without patient compliance? Success depends on the interventions implemented, the goals set, and the individual’s effort as well.
Multiple training programmes
The purpose of incorporating various programmes is to expose the patient to a variety of stimuli. This helps to enhance performance and reduce the risk of over-training. Carrying out the same schedule puts the athlete at risk of boredom and demotivation. Therefore, changing the exercise programme will encourage the patient to keep up with the schedule, maintain training intensity, and achieve the set targets.
Specific time setting
Ideally, the therapeutic programme must be commenced as soon as possible. Although rest is essential for recovery, prolonged rest can be detrimental. The sooner you start, the sooner you recover!
If the physiotherapist decides that a part of the body needs rest, they may advise resting that specific region and continuing work on the rest of the body. In sports physiotherapy, this concept is referred to as “relative rest”.
Prevention of aggravation
Therapeutic exercises, although helpful, may have the potential to reinjure or exacerbate the injury. Therefore, it is important to avoid re-injury risk, which can delay the return to full activity.
Goals and benefits of sports injury rehabilitation
As stated earlier, goals (short- and long-term) play an active role in the rehabilitation process. However, these goals cannot be implemented haphazardly. A few factors need to be considered when setting them:
- The targets need to be realistic (to avoid failure).
- They also need to be specific; implementing a large number of goals must be avoided.
- A long-term goal should follow a few progressive short-term goals.
- Goals need to be discussed beforehand so that they are meaningful to both the physiotherapist and the patient.
- The results should be monitored and recorded.
Benefits of sports rehabilitation
Suppose you are an athlete looking to recover from an injury and regain your strength and physical potential. In that case, you might consider visiting a sports injury clinic in Singapore for rehabilitation. Let us walk you through some of the benefits of sports rehab so that you can make an informed decision:
- Pain relief
- Improves flexibility and mobility
- Enhances muscle strength
- Improves coordination, gait, and posture
- Access to non-surgical means of treatment
- Prevents deformities
- Psychological benefits
- Economic benefit (in terms of health and social care)
So, who can benefit from rehabilitation? Anyone! Any individual, be it a sportsperson or a regular citizen, may need rehabilitation following an injury or illness. Rehabilitation can help individuals of any age maintain their health and recover from injuries holistically. Sports rehabilitation is ideal for many conditions, such as backaches, sprains, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendinopathy, arthritis, and much more!
The 5 stages of injury rehabilitation
1. Rest and protection from injury
The general rule of thumb in sports physiotherapy in this phase is Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE). Rest allows for proper healing and protects the patient from aggravating the injury with further trauma. As mentioned previously, rest does not imply complete inactivity at this stage. You can get a good workout without exacerbating your injury.
2. Recovery of joint mobility
In order to have good muscle strength, your muscles need to be flexible and mobile. An injury can cause pain and stiffness resulting in reduced joint mobility. Physical therapy uses therapeutic exercises and movements to mitigate this issue. Your physiotherapist might include strengthening exercises in the programme to enhance your functional skills and alleviate pain.
3. Recovery of muscle strength
This stage aims to enhance the athlete’s stamina, muscle strength, and endurance. Isometric exercises such as planks may be used for this cause. However, some sports injury clinics in Singapore may start with a few mild exercises so that the patient can adapt to them and have a smoother and more progressive path to recovery. This method is ideal for avoiding any re-injuries or setbacks.
4. Recovery of coordination
How does one know where to place the foot (unconsciously) when walking? This natural and automatic action occurs naturally thanks to the body’s ability to coordinate between movement, action, and location — this is referred to as proprioception. Acute injuries or trauma can interfere with this process. Therefore, restoration of this coordination is one of the vital factors that is carried out in sports physiotherapy in Singapore.
5. Recovery of sports-specific technical movements
Some sports require certain complicated movements that need specific spatial awareness and positioning. In order to be successful, the athlete’s practice sessions may incorporate challenging drills or exercises. The physiotherapist will include these exercises carefully to restore this skill level and return to full activity. This is usually done gradually to avoid re-injury.
Turn to the best for guidance
Injuries can sideline athletes for a long time and prevent them from having successful careers. Taking the right precautions during the healing process is important because one slip-up might result in re-injury and a drawn-out recovery process. Start your rehabilitation journey with the best sports injury clinic in Singapore — River Physio. Our team will ensure that you receive the best care to heal faster and get back on track. Get in touch with our experienced team today!