When Can I Return to Sport?

I recently attended a seminar based around rehabilitation approaches, taking what I learned I started to think about the rehab process from the view of the Therapist and also the view of the Athlete or Client.

Time Base Rehab…

A lot of professionals will provide injured athletes with a time frame for their rehab and return to sport. One of the guaranteed questions you will get as a therapist is “when can I play/train again?”

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Mechanotransduction and Rehabilitation

What is Mechano-Transduction?

It is the process whereby mechanically loading biological tissues can result in biochemical signals that lead to up-regulation of genes, protein synthesis, and structural changes in the tissues.

The loads placed upon the tissues cause perturbation, initiating signal pathways resulting in the encoding of genes and protein synthesis. Therefore if tissues are loaded, in theory, the increased protein synthesis and genetic events will help optimise the healing of the tissue.

This is not only applicable to injured connective tissues. In muscle tissue mechanogrowth factors are up-regulated to the loaded tissues and hypertrophy results. In bone the osteocytes, when loaded, stimulate bone lining cells which will help facilitate the healing of fracture sites. Chondrocytes have the same effect when cartilaginous tissues are loaded.

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