Injury management: a test of qualities

It’s still a bit of a sore point but most cricket fans recognise that Australia’s test series loss to India came largely because of the performance of one man: Cheteshwar Pujara.

It’s also true that behind every great athlete is another great player: their physio. Pujara knows this, he publicly thanked his physio for all the work that went in to keeping him fit and healthy through the series.

Cheteshwar Pujara and his physio Patrick Farhart

Cheteshwar Pujara and his physio Patrick Farhart

Pujara would have been a great patient to work with. That’s because the qualities that make for a good test match player are also qualities that set you up for a good recovery from injury. Here they are:

The ability to ‘get your eye in’

On first getting to the crease, a batter will scope out how the pitch is playing. They’ll notice where the cracks are, what the field is like, and how the bowlers are trying to target them. In the same way, the first phase of managing an injury is watching it closely. This involves being conscious about how the pain is behaving, trying to identify the things which make it better or worse and searching out things which impact the pain. A thorough physio assessment is like a good pitch report: it allows you to develop a good strategy for understanding what is going on and then moving forward to overcome it.

The ability to ‘let that one go through to the keeper’

Getting involved in rehab for a long term problem like a tendon issue or chronic low back pain may take time. Sometimes, at certain stages, this means giving yourself some little, targeted, rests. Not too much, or you never score any runs, but just now and then. It can be very helpful to prioritise your most important movements and activities. Your physio can give you a good sense of whether your recovery is on the right trajectory and encourage you to take on some things, leave others, and then gradually build up your activity over time.

The ability to ‘keep the scoreboard ticking over’

Often when recovering from injury, things feel slow, test match cricket often does. But when things are feeling slow and difficult, those who set themselves up for a good recovery are those who find ways to keep the scoreboard ticking over. In recovering from injury, this often means still keeping active in whatever ways you can. You may not be able to run, but can you swim? Cycle? Get on the elliptical trainer? Your physio can give you great ideas to keep moving and active even in the times when it’s hard to do what you would like to. Your physio has a lot of ideas here so feel free to pick their brains!

If you would like help in setting up a plan to manage your condition, feel free to call us on 9364 4073 or book online.