Psychological factors are an important consideration when planning a return to play

Psychological factors are an important consideration when planning a return to play

While clinicians are generally very good at treating a player’s physical injury there is often little thought paid to their psychological readiness to return. The current study has shown that a simple survey can identify players who are psychologically prepared to return to play following a shoulder instability episode.

The ACL-RSI (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Return to Sport Index) has been shown to be a useful tool for predicting a successful return to sport after an ACL injury.1 This paper has shown that a similar survey based tool, the Shoulder Instability Return to Sport after Injury (SIRSI), can be used to quantify the psychological readiness of athletes prior to return to sport after a shoulder instability episode.2 The tool was effective regardless of how they were treated (a stabilisation procedure or conservative treatment). While this study was conducted in rugby players it is very likely that this is also applicable to football players where the risk of shoulder injuries is lower.

The psychological wellbeing of an injured player is of considerable importance. Greater attention needs to be paid to this area. It is very likely that when the psychological aspects of a player’s injury are treated their recovery will be enhanced. Ensuring that they are adequately (physically and mentally) prepared to return to sport will also likely reduce the risk of re-injury.

To learn more about the impact of injury on a player’s wellbeing complete the ‘Mental Health’ module in the FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine.

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