Injuries are common among the athletic population. After an injury, there are various factors to consider prior to an athlete returning to sport. It has been suggested that returning to the sport should be viewed as a continuum, alongside recovery and rehabilitation.
At the point of return to sport, physiological healing ought to have occurred. Parameters such as pain, swelling, range of motion, and strength should be assessed and the athlete should have minimal or no deficits. Having had a previous injury predisposes an athlete to re-injury. This therefore would mean an injured athlete who returns to competition before sufficient recovery and reconditioning will be at increased risk of injury.
The first step in the RTS process is to obtain clearance from a medical professional. The athlete must undergo a thorough evaluation to determine the extent of their injury and the appropriate course of treatment. Once the athlete has been cleared to begin the RTS process, the next step is to develop a plan that outlines specific goals and objectives for each stage of the process.
The RTS process typically involves several stages, each with its own set of activities and goals. The first stage is focused on regaining basic mobility and range of motion. This may involve exercises to improve strength and flexibility, as well as activities to improve balance and coordination.
Throughout the RTS process, it is important to monitor the athlete’s progress and adjust the plan as needed. This may involve modifications to the types of exercises and activities that are included in the plan, as well as adjustments to the frequency and duration of each activity.