Tutorial Thursday #13 – coming back from injuries

‘Don’t call it a comeback’

Especially when it comes to professional athletes time is ticking fast after injuries. The goal is to reclaim one’s peak performance and a prompt return to game.

Time is money, even with injuries

For every athlete, club, association, or every company for that matter, time is money. Thus, treatment should start immediately after the trauma. As we have discussed last week, many doctors, physical therapists, and medical attendants pass on the treatment with ice and immobilization of the affected body parts. Slightly increasing load and mobilization seem to be the better alternative for a quicker regeneration.

Tutorial Thursday #13 - coming back from injuries - How do I manage that comeback?

Thus, there is often no way around a physiotherapeutic rehabilitative treatment. This treatment involves actively and passively mobilizing the affected muscle, joint, or structure with increasing movement amplitude.

Activity instead of compensating schemas

Then the slowly progressing training load follows. This depends on the injury itself and whether surgery was needed or not. You should definitely take the natural wound healing into account. During everyday movements you should be mindful of relieving postures and compensating schemas and avoid them completely. This would only make regaining the target movement much more difficult and impair your athletic performance.

‘…I’ve been here for years’

Depending on the kind and severity of the injury the movements have to be learned anew. The central nervous system and the muscles, joints, and sinews have to re-store the movement. Every one of you that had previously have to wear a cast knows how strange the movements feel after the cast is removed. This is also one of the reasons why casts are much less used in today’s treatments than a few years back. Immobilization inevitably makes rehabilitation longer. Especially professional athletes would have a hard time regaining their competition performance level because with a lengthy immobilization they would complete lose their rhythm. Their body not only would have to regain the necessary strength for the sport-specific situations but also the coordinative and movement-specific aspects of the sport. Don’t let all the hard work and long training hours become worthless because of an injury!

As you were

With this in mind: trust your body with a quick return to movements. Don’t lie in your bed for weeks (although there are serious cases where that is the only option unfortunately)! Otherwise you not only lose muscle mass but also un-learn the coordinative aspects of certain movements.

See you next week,
Your Fabien

Author: Fabien Mpouma

Fabien is bachelor of arts sportscience (DSHS) and since his studies he is working in the sector of health- and rehabilitation sports. He was course instructor for several institutions in the field of rehabilitation and mental and physical disease. He has a lot of experience in prevention with adults, youths, and children. He worked as regional manager for Outdoor Gym and now as a Personal Trainer and Foodcoach. Since 2014 he is Manager for Training & Education and Head Coach for aerobis. In 2016 he opened his own facility for Personal- and Grouptraining in his hometown Siegburg. Stay in contact with Fabien by sending him an email

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