For the majority of your rehabilitation their isn’t much difference if you are a sporting athlete or not. The biggest difference lies towards the end of your rehabilitation. Most patients will not go through a battery of “Return to Sport Testing” unless the patient is intending to. This is because in sport, larger loads are applied to our tissues at a wider variety of angles. Ensuring your affected body site has the high level control, co-ordination, strength and speed to return to your chosen sport plays a huge role in your risk of re-injury.
Here we have complied a list of common return to sports testing that we like to use at Link Health and Fitness to ensure our athletes are ready to step back in to the game.
The Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Test is a great test for our athletes at the end of their shoulder rehabilitation. To perform the test, the athlete must touch either side of the mat 90cm apart. The goal is to get as many touches as you can within 15 seconds (Dong-Rour, & Laurentius, 2015). The number of successful touches is counted across an average of three repetitions. A good number of touches to achieve is around 24 touches.
The Backward Overhead Medicine Ball Throw is a great test for athletes recovering from a low back injury whose sports involves explosive start stop movements. According to Manske, R., & Reiman, M. (2013) a score of 10m is a good distance to compare yourself to and inform your decision if your low back is ready to return to sport.
The ankle, knee, hip and lumbar spine all need to work together on dynamic running movements so here are three of our favourite tests we like to use for our lower limb return sports injuries.
The side hop test is a great test of your bodies ability to propel yourself forward or to the side in this case. You may have seen this test on our ankle page but it is used for other injuries as well.
With this test it’s all about how far can you jump forward on a single leg. The main purpose of this test is to identify any asymmetries between each leg. We calculate this by measuring the distance of your forward hop on each leg. Each distance should be within 10% of each other. Meaning if your non-injured leg achieved 1 meter then your injured side would score 0.9 meters or more.
The triple hop is similar to the single leg forward hop and stick test except this time you keep going for another two more hops. This test is slightly more difficult than the single leg forward hop and stick as it is a greater test of dynamic control.
We have experienced senior clinicians with one of the best equipped facilities on Auckland’s North Shore. Our patients have access to a full gym and Pilates studio to allow us to develop an exercise program specific to your needs. A physiotherapist is always available during staffed hours to offer you additional support in our independent 24/7 gym.