A Coach/Parent Guide For Return To Play
Injuries are common in athletics. Whether it is tendinitis or an acute traumatic injury, many injuries require restriction of and/or change in participation. The amount of time away from athletic participation varies according to the type of injury, severity of injury, body part involved and other situational factors. When an injury occurs, it may result in weakness, due to tissue damage and disuse, and decreased motor control of the damaged body part. Regaining strength and coordination of the injured body part should be considered part of the rehabilitation and healing process. Attempting to return to an activity before proper healing of the injury puts the athlete at risk for re-injury.
Controlling The Initial Symptoms (P.R.I.C.E)
Protect: Protect the affected area from further injury.
Rest: Rest and protect the injured part at first to experience less swelling and a more rapid recovery.
Ice: Put ice on the affected area to decrease swelling and help control pain. This is especially helpful in the first 48 to 72 hours after injury.
Compression: Wrap or brace the injured part to allow for control of initial swelling and to decrease motion.
Elevation: Elevate the injured part, especially if it is kept above the heart, as this helps decrease swelling and pain.
The Best Steps For Your Athlete
After an athlete sustains an injury, the athlete should control the initial symptoms by following P.R.I.C.E. At the same time, the athlete should be seen by the appropriate medical provider. After being cleared to return to participation by the same medical provider, the injured athlete should have full-pain free range of motion, strength, and adequate functional movement. When the athlete is returning to competition he/she should return in a progressive manner.
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