Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's more than just an injury

Often when athletes get injured and have to spend time away from sport, we only think about the recovery of the physical injury. A successful return to competition can be dependent on psychological rehabilitation as well. An article from Athletic Therapy Today, 'Psychological Rehabilitation for Recovery From Injury: The SCRAPE Approach' by Christopher James Hinderliter and Bradley J. Cardinal, helps to outline how coaches, trainers, and/or teachers can help an athlete's rehabilitation on the psychological end.

The acronym to help remember the key features is SCRAPE.
S - Social Support
C - Confidence and Competence
R - Refer
A - Accomodate
P - Psychological Skills
E - Educate

Social Support
Having a network of friends, teammates, coaches, trainers available for the injured athlete to connect with and share similar experiences can help the athlete understand the rehabilitation process they are going through and the work required.

Confidence and Competence
The clinician who attends to the patient can make a huge difference by instilling confidence and competence creating a positive outlook on the recovery process. Knowledge transfer to the patient helps them to view the rehabilitation as opportunity to show progressive improved physical ability, and traits like commitment and desire.

Often sport med doctors and trainers don't have training in psychology, and an athlete may not respond to a clinicians efforts to help the psychological process, so referral to a psychologist can be the best step.

The athletic trainer should work with the athlete recognizing their natural disposition and personal needs. Treatment and rehab should be individualized to each athlete to help keep the patient focused on the common rehabilitation goal.

Psychological Skills
Imagery, relaxation and goal setting will help to foster a positive outlook on recovery. They can help instill confidence, motivate, and improve the athlete's self-image.

The education of the athlete on typical recovery time, restrictions, and therapy can help the patient be more active in the process. When educating the athlete refrain from using terminology that the athlete may not understand or may confuse the athlete.

So the next time you face an athlete with an injury, think beyond the physical aid that can be provided and heal the mind as well.

Contact SIRC for more information on the physical and psychological side of sport injury! 

Reference from the SIRC Collection:
Hinderliter, C., & Cardinal, B. J. (2007). Psychological Rehabilitation for Recovery From Injury: The SCRAPE Approach. Athletic Therapy Today, 12(6), 36-38. (Order full text from SIRC)

Online Resources:
Weiss, M. (2003) Psychological Aspects of Sport-Injury Rehabilitation: A Developmental Perspective. Journal of Athletic Training, 38(2): 172–175.
Crust, Lee. Psychological Rehabilitation Techniques. Retrieved from the Internet March 27, 2012.


Jodie Jenkins said...

Yes! Even in sports, personal injury accidents happens. Accident unfortunately happens all the time, anywhere, and to anyone. Let's be more cautious at all times to avoid injury.

MoLangley said...

Love your blog! I've been conducting a lot of research into sport injury treatment and your article has really helped. Thank you!

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