Return To Sport Testing
We are fortunate to live in the wonderful community of Helena, MT which offers so many competitive sports and recreational activities. Whether it’s mountain sports like trail running, biking, or skiing; or more organized sports like football, volleyball, and soccer, Helena, MT has lots of opportunities to participate in competitive sports.
Have you had an injury and are wondering if you are ready to return to your sport?
Many athletes suffer from an injury, rush through the rehab process, only to return to sport still experiencing symptoms. Many suffer from long term consequences of returning to sport with continued deficits. These deficits can include swelling, weakness, pain, decreased range of motion, diminished proprioception, decreased control, and balance deficits. Recent research indicates that limb asymmetry contributes to an increased future injury risk, either at the same injury site, or at another.1 Recent research also indicates that biomechanical testing can identify athletes that are at risk of injuring their opposite side ACL after returning to sport with side-to-side differences. 2
This is why at Optimal Sports Physical Therapy we offer in-depth Return to Sport Testing to help identify and address asymmetries, prevent future injuries, and improve performance to ensure a safer return to sport. We want to help get back to doing the activities and sports that you love without the risk.
Our Return to Sport Test is individually developed and individually conducted to allow for necessary variations between athletes and their sports. Current research has shown that every athlete has different risk factors and that injury risk assessment should be performed on an individual basis. 3 By creating each test specifically for each athlete, every athlete has the opportunity to perform the tests that will give us the most valuable information for their sport.
Our therapists are athletes themselves and are passionate about helping you perform better and want to help all athletes achieve their goals. Whether it’s playing college soccer, or running your first 5k we are here to help you!
What is Return to Sport Testing?
- Our therapists use a variety of modern technology to assess various aspects of sports: running, jumping, landing, balance, strength, and function.
- Our test batteries are carefully chosen on an individual basis and vary from athlete to athlete given individual sport participation demands. We assess a runner differently from a football player; a swimmer differently than a volleyball player. Athletes who participate in any sport may seek return to sport testing from OPT.
- Athletes will be asked to perform a wide variety of functional tests which will be filmed from several different angles with a video camera. This video is then analyzed by the therapist using special software to measure and assess joint angles, movement patterns, symmetry and quality of motion.
- All of this information is then used to guide recommendations regarding the return to sport process.
Who should have a Return To Sport Test?
- Any athlete entering the return to sport stage after a injury can and should be tested to ensure complete recovery and/or to identify any individual risk factors that may increase their future injury risk.1
- From the seasoned ultra-marathon runner returning to running after an ankle sprain to a high school soccer player returning to play after an ACL rehab.
- Any athlete recovering from an injury will benefit from our comprehensive, functional, multifaceted and individualized return to sport test.
- We have tested athletes in the following sports: basketball, football, hockey, swimming, soccer, runners, and more!
What is included in a Return to Sports Test?
- The Return to Sports Test is a comprehensive assessment including a thorough review of your injury and recovery; current symptoms; goals; current status; medial history; an more.
- During the assessment comprehensive evaluation will be performed which includes a custom test protocol for each individual.
- In addition to standard running analysis, you will also perform a series of jump tests, landing assessments, strength and mobility tests to provide a more comprehensive picture of your functional strength and mobility deficits that may contribute to your athletic performance.
- Following this assessment, your therapist will discuss the results with you, and make specific recommendations for your return to sport process that address your specific needs. This can range from full clearance to return to a suggested home exercise program to address any residual deficits.
What is included in a Return to Sports Test?
- The Return to Sports Test is a comprehensive assessment including a thorough review of your injury and recovery; current symptoms; goals; and current status.
- Besides analyzing your running biomechanics, you will also perform a series of functional tests that are designed to test your sport-specific demands.
- These tests may include jump tests, landing assessments, strength and mobility tests to provide a comprehensive picture of your strengths and mobility deficits that may contribute to your athletic performance.
How long does a Return To Sports Test take?
- Our standard Return to Sports Test takes 1-1.5 hour to perform.
- However, there are options to undergo a more in-depth assessment, if desired.
- Optional services offered beyond the standard Return To Sport Test include counseling on running programs, guidance on return to throwing programs, design and education on personalized workout programs, and discussion of further resources and referral to other healthcare providers, if needed.
What happens after the test? How do I get my results?
- Following this assessment, your therapist will discuss the results with you, and make specific recommendations for your return to sports process that address your specific needs.
- This can range from full clearance to return to a suggested home exercise program to address any residual deficits.
- If you are in need of further treatment, options will be discussed with you after the completion of your test.
How do I schedule a Return To Sports Test?
- It’s simple! Contact our clinic and Leslie will help you schedule your test
1. Fulton J, Wright K, Kelly M, et al. Injury risk is altered by previous injury: a systematic review of the literature and presentation of causative neuromuscular factors. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2014;9(5):583-595.
2.King E, Richter C, Daniels K, et al. Can biomechanical testing after ACL injury identify athletes at risk for subsequent ACL injury to the contralateral uninjured limb. Am J Sports Med. 2021;49(3):609-619.
3. Raya-Gonzalez J, Clemente F, Castillo D. Analyzing the magnitude of interlimb asymmetries in young female soccer players: a preliminary study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020475