Pre-season is the most essential aspect of preparing for the season ahead. Whether you’re preparing for cricket, football, golf, soccer or another sport, pre-season gives you the best chance to have a successful season ahead. Peak MSK Physio can provide you with the opportunity to be screened by trained health professionals at the right time, to give you the best chance to avoid injury in your upcoming season and have fun and success.
Pre-season injury screening is utilised amongst elite sporting clubs around the world. AFL clubs are probably the most well-known in Australia for their strict pre-season training and screening. In 2021, there were 33.6 new injuries per AFL club for the year, which is a fairly high number. This could have you asking, how many injuries would there be without injury screening? OR does injury screening in the pre-season work?
To answer the question above, it is likely that there would be an increase in injuries amongst clubs if it weren’t for pre-season injury screening and prevention programs. Pre-season injury screening allows sports medical teams to pick up injuries that might not have been addressed by the player and any strength deficits amongst athletes that should be addressed in the pre-season. Most importantly it allows them to obtain baseline measurements for players for if they were to get injured in the season, we know where they need to get back to know they have made a full recovery.
Our clinical team consists of experienced practitioners with ample experience in diagnosing, managing and rehabilitating sports injuries. You may see one or more clinicians depending on your needs, goals and the outcome of your assessment screen.
All clinicians have experience managing the athlete demographic and like anyone, from time to time we have needed help ourselves to get back to doing a sport we love or an activity that we are passionate about. We understand how important elite performance is, even at the community level. We also understand that you may have goals that can include performance or achievement or just having a fun season. We will point you to the right injury prevention programs for keeping in the park more often and for longer. We have a keen interest in managing AFL and Basketball players, but we love to help anyone achieve their sporting endeavours.
We will make your injury screen specific to your sport. We have an array of physical tests we can have you undertake which will help us outline any areas we think should be addressed in order to best minimise injury risk. As you can imagine, a screen for an AFL player will look different to that of a Golfer. As the different sports have different demands and have a different focus on the major muscle groups, joints and actions, the screens would look different in some aspects.
An AFL pre-season screen would have a heavy emphasis on the hamstring, quad and glute strength, endurance and power. Hamstring injuries are extremely common in the AFL and have commonly been the most common injury in the last few seasons. Those major muscle groups are also responsible for having stability and power, allowing athletes to push off and land safely. If they are compromised, serious injuries such as an ACL rupture might be more likely. There are of course other areas we would assess in an AFL player, like their core and upper body, but the main focus would be the avoidance of those serious injuries we can see.
A golfer requires more shoulder and trunk stability and mobility. A screen for this type of athlete would be around their core strength, their shoulder mobility and strength and their ability to transfer power across their body through the thorax. This is just a brief example and comparison, but it displays the clear differences in approach to the two sports in terms of their pre-season screening and injury prevention.
At Peak MSK Physio, our clinicians have a great understanding of a variety of tests that we best utilise that are specific to you and your sport. We understand that you are not just another athlete, but an athlete who wants to be better and that’s where we want to help.
Once screened, we will have the ability to analyse your data. From here, we will have an understanding of any discrepancies between limbs or any outliers in strength deficits which we believe should be addressed.
The way we do this is by providing you the athlete, with a program specific to you, with goals and milestones targets. We can provide you with one to do at home or even at the gym if that is something that suits you. But not everyone needs access to machines or a gym membership. Most of what we can help you with can be done at our clinic or from the comfort of your home. Our aim is to make it easiest for you and most suitable for you. This gives you the best chance of completing the program, which in the long run, could mean a more successful and healthy season.
But not only can we screen you for the pre-season, but we can also utilise those same tests throughout your actual season to ensure you’re maintaining a level of strength and not deteriorating throughout the year. It’s extremely common for there to be strength and fitness drop-offs throughout the year. After all, our focus during the year is on performance, not so much on fitness and strength. If we find that you are falling behind, however, we can help you address it and improve whatever it is that needs to be improved. As we will have your baseline measurements, we will know where we need you to be to give you the best chance of staying on the pitch.
So if you’re interested in having your best season yet, we can help you. At Peak MSK Physio, we are passionate about sporting performance. It’s time to give yourself the best chance of competing at the highest level. Give us a call on (03) 9533 5305 to book in an appointment with our clinical team.