While many Australians have been walking, running and cycling to maintain their fitness during quarantine, physiotherapists are warning this doesn’t mean they’re ready to go straight back into a local footy, netball or soccer game.

Physiotherapist and La Trobe University Sport and Exercise Research Centre PhD candidate Brooke Patterson said a carefully planned return to competitive sport will help avoid common sports injuries to hamstrings, knees, ankles and hips/groins.

The former AFLW player said: “Maintaining general fitness from running and walking is great while competitive sport hasn’t been possible, but we need to remind all teams and players that they need to return to sport gradually when restrictions ease.”

Ms Patterson has called for sports clubs and individuals to consult their local physio to help put together a graded return to sport training plan, or to work with coaches to implement adequate injury prevention training.

“As a competitive sports person myself, I’m itching to get back out onto the footy field and be with my teammates, but we can’t just jump straight back into high speed running, agility and contact activities and expect we’ll be fine.”

“We need to return gradually. With proper training, we can avoid injuries that will wipe us out for the rest of the season.”

If you’re returning to competitive sport or increasing your physical activity (now that gyms have reopened in some parts of Australia), consider consulting a physiotherapist to discuss a staged return, suitable to your needs, that could help prevent injury.

Original article via Medibank

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