How Chronic Injury Can Affect Your Performance as an Athlete

How chronic injury affects athletic performance

Chronic injuries often produce a negative label. Combining chronic injuries with athletics can create an added challenge on top of this. Chronic injuries can affect your performance as an athlete. Athletes with chronic injuries often receive a diagnosis with physiological components that are accurate. However, the functional aspects of the diagnosis are not always accurate and reflective of their high-functioning abilities. This is why it is essential for athletes with chronic injuries to acknowledge their injury as well as their capabilities. This allows athletes to become invested in their own personal, functional capabilities throughout the rehabilitation process.. (For more information, see our Sports Rehab & Injury Prevention page.)

If you are an athlete with a chronic injury, one key skill you need to develop throughout physical rehabilitation is maintaining awareness of your body and sensation as you move within your environments. If you experience an injury, you need to form reconnections within your brain’s neural structures to regulate your autonomic nervous system (ANS). Addressing the fundamentals to get back to the more complex tasks you were previously doing is essential. This may involve training in diaphragmatic breathing, visual tracking, and the vestibular system which all help in reducing fearful responses.

How PARR PT Treats Chronic Injuries & Gets High-performance Athletes back in the Game as Quickly as Possible

Athletes must also process movement pattern compensations and think about how to change patterns that have been there for so long. You may not realize that training is not localized to one part of the body–it is all integrated. Many athletes are unaware and need education on this. An issue that appears to stem from one area, such as the ankle, could be compensation for a structural issue in another area, such as the spine. 

How you build a plan or program to deal with injuries is based on the body’s internal response to the environment, rebuilding neural connections, and addressing compensations. A “quick fix” won’t get to the root of the issues to enable long-term success. Success occurs when a tailored plan is developed for you as an athlete to help regulate your brain and ANS response to complex tasks in order to induce confidence with spatial awareness.

The first step to improving your performance is regaining connection and understanding of your body. Once you establish that connectivity, we can work together to find the right stimulus to help rebalance your mind, body and spirit. At PARR PT, we know chronic injuries can affect your performance as an athlete. Give us a call today to set up an appointment so we can help you in your journey to recovery.

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