Athletes face extreme pressure to return to play when they are hurt however, the true challenge for physicians is to get them back in the game safely. Athletes should be tough and maintain a positive attitude whilst regularly going through pain. When they’re made to sit out due to an accident, they should be focused and motivated to return to play as quickly as possible. They rehabilitate and rest as they trust that their bodies will ready after a full treatment plan.
This is the idealistic perspective of injury associated with athletes in their specific sport or physical activity. However, the reality is that accidents are an unavoidable by product of being an athlete and the transition from “active athlete” to “injured athlete” and back to “active athlete” does not always happen without complications.
Injured athletes fight with anxiety, frustration, anger and sometimes depression during their time away from play, which might also keep them from following their rehabilitation program effectively. Additionally, the return to the sport itself yields a fresh pair of adversities as athletes should browse through personal fears and a desire to come back to their pre-injury condition with the support of their family and healthcare physician.
Importance of Support for Injured Athletes
Social support can come from various forms, ranging from emotional support to task challenge assistance. Some wounded athletes want a caring individual simply to listen to their anxieties while others might prefer a challenging drive to work harder during rehab. Studies looking at the supply of social support have found that athletes feel most satisfied with the support provided by professionals in comparison to support supplied by teammates or coaches.
It would appear obvious that athletes would need support to assist with the injury recovery process. Because teams have access to trainers in a school setting, this additional support is possible. However, injuries are not unique to the collegiate population, which makes it important to address that and provide this service.
Researchers who immediately addressed athletes’ tastes from healthcare professionals found that the desire to learn more concerning the injury resulted in a clearer timeline for return to play along with an open environment where athletes felt comfortable asking questions. In respect to athletes not fully understanding their injuries, they noticed that they would have appreciated the use of models and more sophisticated explanations from their physicians. It’s essential for healthcare professionals to take the time to help these athletes that are injured throughout the rehabilitation and recovery process and return to play with expertise.
Even though a complete return to play could be potential in time, it won’t happen immediately and teammates, parents, the athletes and coaches need to understand this. Trainers who have missed those who have been inactive for any period of time or numerous practices will require a slow progression back to their previous degree. This is bothersome for coaches who may “need” that athlete and also for the athlete who wants to return so as not to let the team down, trainer or themselves. Additionally, while appeasing the team and coach, the athlete may want to listen to doctors to ensure a safe recovery.
Goal-Setting to Facilitate Confidence And Motivation
Throughout the rehabilitation process, athletes should set modest goals, adjust their mindset, surround themselves with supportive people and develop their patience. It is important for others such as doctors, parents and trainers to understand the process, and provide athletes with resources and support to help them construct in these areas. Like setting rehabilitation targets that are daily followed by exercise goals, simple strategies can help athletes experience modest successes and build their own confidence.
Every injured athlete would like to return to 100 percent but it is going to take some time to reach that degree. They’re very likely to eliminate the drive and motivation to continue, if they don’t see improvements over time. The athlete has to set goals based on their current status. The athlete will see little daily improvements leading them in the path of better performances in the future.
Building and/or maintaining confidence is vital, and it cannot be connected to results. Athletes need to realize that confidence keeps them trying even if scenarios aren’t going their way, and helps them push through failures. Confidence is a way of behaving and thinking that should be evident in everything one does regardless of the outcome.
Given potential effects related to harm and the emotions, it’s clear that more education is essential to guarantee positive consequences for athletes who’ve experienced sports injuries. Injuries are unavoidable but they do not need to be devastating to well-being and one’s life if handled effectively. It’s apparent that athletes encounter adversity due to the injury and due to the change for their own lives and daily routines. The recovery is sometimes more easy than the yield to perform since the bone may heal and the tear could be mended, but the brain doesn’t change as easily.
It is necessary for everyone involved to understand that helping an athlete recovery in order to return to play as soon as possible demands attention to both the body and the brain. This can be accomplished by one with awareness, education and effort of coaches, doctors, athletes and parents alike.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Sports Care
Athletes engage in a series of stretches and exercises on a daily basis in order to prevent damage or injury from their specific sports or physical activities as well as to promote and maintain strength, mobility and flexibility. However, when injuries or conditions occur as a result of an accident or due to repetitive degeneration, getting the proper care and treatment can change an athlete’s ability to return to play as soon as possible and restore their original health.
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The information herein on "El Paso Specialist: Psychological Support for Athletes with Sports Injuries" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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