If you are an injured athlete it is important to undergo return to sports (RTS) testing before returning to your sport. This type of testing can help you determine if you are ready for the demands of sport, and can also help your physiotherapist create a rehabilitation plan tailored specifically for you if specific deficiencies are identified.
In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of tests that we have developed at Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy using our state-of-the-art equipment that can be used as part of a RTS decision making, as well as how these tests can help improve your performance and mitigate risk of reinjury.
There are typically three key tests that influence RTS outcomes and optimise tissue health following orthopaedic surgery such as ACL reconstruction: psychological readiness, strength assessment and sports specific biomechanics testing. Strength testing is important because it can help determine if an athlete has the necessary muscle strength and power to safely return to their sport. At Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy, using VALD performance Forcedecks, Forceframe, Dynamo and Nordboard we can effectively measure lower limb muscle strength through a series of maximal tests, and compare these against expected normative data. Furthermore, in combination with our Keiser pneumatic machines that measure muscle power, this provides a well rounded assessment of an athletes muscle capacity providing detail on performance levels that can reduce injury risk.
Maximal Strength Assessment
Biomechanical testing, on the other hand, can help assess an athlete’s movement patterns and technique. For example, assessment of an athletes amount of hip, knee and ankle movement during a landing task is important to ascertain whether a recreational or professional athlete has regained the desired performance level. This is important because poor movement patterns are often a result of impaired neuromuscular control, and can predispose an athlete to further injury.
The final test that is important in RTS decision making is psychological readiness. This refers to an athlete’s confidence and motivation to return to their sport, as well as their perception of risk of reinjury. It is important to assess this before returning an athlete back to sport, as a lack of motivation or confidence can often lead to a decrease in performance, and an increased risk of reinjury. At Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy we use various screening tools such as the ACL-RSI, Sport Confidence Inventory (SCI) and Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK-11) to help athletes identify any fear they may have surrounding reinjury.
If you are an athlete who is planning on returning to their sport following injury, it is important that you undergo RTS testing with a physiotherapist. The team at Melbourne CBD Physiotherapy have the experience and state-of-the-art equipment to help you through your RTS journey, and get you back to performing at your best. Contact us today to book an appointment.
– “Return-to-Play Testing Following Injury.” Physioworks.com.au. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr