|Treatment methods include;
If the player suffers a trauma injury i.e. a pulled hamstring or sprained ankle, the coach can help by carrying out the correct first-aid procedures. The familiar PRICE protocol should always be followed: PROTECT the injured part from further injury, REST the injured part immediately; ICE the injury site; COMPRESS the injured site with strapping, and ELEVATE the injured limb. This protocol helps with pain relief and also to control inflammation. If it is done quickly, it can have a great impact on the healing time. For more serious injuries however, such as, a dislocation or fracture, professional help should be sought immediately.
If it is a chronic injury i.e. shin splints or tennis elbow, then it has occurred because the injured site has been overloaded during the players exercise program. The player should stop training immediately to prevent any further damage. The sooner the player stops, the sooner the player will recover.
The next step in injury management is getting an accurate diagnosis. This is often where a player can come unstuck, as they can receive an inaccurate diagnosis and thus waste time following an inappropriate treatment plan. Often the best people to see are therapists specialising in sports injuries since they deal with such injuries on a regular basis.
Any treatment plan will begin with an initial consultation which enables the therapist to carry out a thorough assessment of the injury to determine the nature of the problem and its history, and to provide the appropriate corrective treatment to relieve the pain and address the underlying cause.
The sports-injury therapist will plan and implement the treatment required. Usually, the initial stage of treatment involves reducing pain and promoting healing.
Once pain and any swelling are reduced, the treatment will begin to involve more exercises. Initially, this is likely to be mobility and flexibility training and then, later, strengthening work.
One of the major goals of rehabilitation is to maintain aerobic fitness.
By adopting different training methods, players can continue to train the rest of the body while still protecting the injured site.
Once the pain has subsided and the player has started to meet the flexibility and strengthening goals, the therapist will be able to advise on when normal training can start again. This is the point when clear communication between therapist, coach and player is vital. One of the major reasons why players suffer a recurrence of an injury is that they have started training too hard, too soon. What they fail to understand is that, just because the injured part is pain-free, it doesn't mean they are fully fit.
Once the player is able to use the injured part, he or she must progressively retrain the endurance, strength and coordination of that part so that it can withstand full competition conditions again. Thus, the goal at this stage in the rehabilitation process moves from healing the injury to regaining full function.
One of the most important and most frequently overlooked stages of the rehabilitation process is proprioception education. This is the coordination of balance and joint positioning. The brain must know accurately which position the joints are in so that movements can occur smoothly and effectively.
Often, after a period of injury, especially joint injuries, the player can lose this ability which is likely to cause a recurrence of the injury. Therefore, exercises such as unilateral balance drills and wobble-board exercises are important to retrain any lost proprioception.