For much of this year and last, community sport in the eastern states of Australia has been completely shut down due to continuous lockdowns that have affected both winter and summer seasons. Some budding athletes have used this time wisely and exercised on their own at home, while others have, understandably, lost the enthusiasm that comes from exercising around others during sport. No matter which group you fall into, if you are going back into community sport as lockdowns lift, you may want to consider visiting a physiotherapist to make sure that you complete this transition the right (and safe) way.
Return To Normal Can Take Time
Even if you have been exercising on your own, it likely hasn't been the exact same as playing the sport. Whether it was soccer, AFL, rugby, cricket or anything else, playing a sport is very different from just running or doing strength training. The stopping and starting, odd movements and hand-eye coordination needed to play these sports can lead to many injuries for people who are not back to their previous level of fitness but try and act like they are. Easing yourself back into these sports with regular visits to and from physiotherapy is the best way to make sure you get through this without hurting yourself.
Treat Minor Injuries Seriously
Whether you have just tweaked a muscle in your leg or feel an odd pain in some part of your torso, you need to be very proactive when it comes to physiotherapy after goes back to playing. Small injuries can become much worse if you just leave them be, so although it might be comfortable to try and think you can work your way through the pain, never try to do that. A physiotherapist will help you build back muscle so that it is stronger than it was before and you spend less time on the sidelines.
Feel Better And Get Stronger
Physiotherapy is not only good for the treatment of injuries but also for preventative care when you don't have injuries at all. They can tell you how to best exercise your problem areas to make them stronger, use targeted massage to work out sore points and give advice on how to manage your load so that it doesn't become overbearing. If you aren't factoring in a physiotherapist into your return to sport after lockdown, then you are setting yourself up for failure!
Reach out to a professional who practices physiotherapy to get started.