IT has been a record-breaking and highly successful season for the Eastern Shore-based soccer team, the Olympia FC Warriors.
Dominating the statewide competition, the team has won the Summer Cup, Victory League and Victory Cup competitions, as well as defeating the South Melbourne Hellas in the national quarter finals to make the top four in the country.
Throughout the year, Back in Motion Rosny Park physiotherapist Evan Clayton has been working closely with the squad, helping them to deal with any niggles or injuries to keep players on the field, as well as limiting the amount of time spent off the field due to injury.
“Playing and training time lost due to injury was kept to a minimum throughout the season due to the commitment shown by the players to their rehabilitation programs,” Mr Clayton said.
“As a high-level athlete it is very important to get back out onto the field, court or track as soon as possible in order for the team to maintain consistent performances – but it is just as important for non-athletes to get back to things they enjoy doing.
“If you are restricted or limited in what you can do, this can not only have physical implications but can also affect you psychologically.
“People can take a lot from what the Olympia players have done this season to stick to their plans and listen to the advice of the professionals around them.”
Mr Clayton said acute injuries and chronic conditions could be managed by following physiotherapy rehabilitation programs to achieve optimal function and quality of life.
“This includes soft tissue work (releasing of tight muscles by different massage techniques), joint mobilisation and individualised therapeutic exercise regimes,” he said.
“However, this requires patient adherence to clinic appointments, a prescribed home exercise plan and advice.”
Musculoskeletal injuries have three distinct stages and each requires a different physiotherapy regime.
This regime depends on what structure is injured or whether it is a muscle, ligament, tendon, nerve, spinal disc or bone, as they all have different healing time frames.
“The acute stage is where the goal of the physiotherapist is to avoid making injury worse and to reduce pain and swelling,” Mr Clayton said.
“Rehabilitation is stage two, where the goal is to improve strength movement and control, and the last stage is training in which the goal of the physiotherapist is to get the person back to his/her normal functioning in day-to-day life.
“All three stages of recovery require gradual transition because too much too soon can result in re-injury and prolonged healing time.”
Mr Clayton although it may be hard to adhere to a full rehabilitation program, it was important in order to avoid prolonged healing time and poor outcomes.
“This advice is supported by the Olympia Warriors success this year,” he said.
“I recommend openly discussing issues with your physiotherapist in order to come up with a suitable management plan so you can get back to doing the things you love.”
*Evan Clayton is a physiotherapist with Back in Motion Rosny Park, which is part of the Back in Motion Health Group, one of Australian’s leading physiotherapy groups. He is also the team physiotherapist for the Olympia FC Warriors.