Psychological Issues in Sport Injury Physiotherapy Rehabilitation


Christakou Anna
University of West Attica (UniWA), Egaleo, Attica; Greece


Rehabilitation from sport injury involves not only physical, but also psychological considerations. When athletes return to sport field after a serious musculoskeletal injury, they may have negative emotions. The psychophysiological risk model outlines how the fear of injury or re-injury can lead to physiological and psychological consequences. Athletes with previous injury had re-injury worry and low confidence for avoidance of re-injury. An athlete who worries about sustaining a new injury may have poor performance through decreased efficiency in the biomechanics of skill execution, decreased self-confidence, and decreased attention. Attention plays an important role in athletes’ return to sport following an injury. On returning to competition, rehabilitated athletes may have narrowing attention onto injured area, thus there is an increased risk of re-injury. Valid and reliable tools used to assess the psychological readiness of an injured athlete. Due to the role of mind-body connection to rehabilitation process, techniques during and/or after the rehabilitation process such as mental imagery have been used as an alternative and complementary therapy to physical therapy programs. Studies reported imagery during patients’ rehabilitation process lead to significantly greater strength and less re-injury anxiety. Gaps in the current literature are highlighted and directions for future research are provided.

November 30, 2022