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Perspect Public Health. 2009 May;129(3):120-6.

Rehabilitation from sports injuries: from theory to practice.

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Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, University of Athens, Greece.


A great number of injuries occur in the context of recreational physical activities and competitive athletics. Adherence to sport injury rehabilitation means an injured athlete's compliance (or not) to a sports medicine/injury personnel's instructions of participating in a rehabilitation programme in a clinic, and/or doing rehabilitation exercises at home. It has emerged as an area of interest among physiotherapists and other allied professionals (i.e. sport trainers, physicians). This article reviews compliance among injured athletes in the recovery process by presenting the protection motivation theory, personal investment theory and models of cognitive appraisal. Also it reviews key research findings about these three theoretical models. In addition practical guidelines and specific strategies are offered to sport injury rehabilitation personnel to enhance an athlete's adherence to injury rehabilitation. Sports medicine/injury personnel should educate athletes about their injuries and rehabilitation and increase effective communication and active listening. Also sports medicine/injury personnel should provide social support and encourage positive beliefs of injured athletes. In addition, coping with pain and setting short-term goals help athletes to increase their compliance to programmes of rehabilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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