Returning to Sports After Injury

Now that the weather is getting warmer, we are starting to see the benefits of living in Idaho.  People are getting outdoors to hike, bike, swim, and run.  Baseball, softball, and other summer sports are starting, and  so are the injuries that accompany them.  At the beginning of the spring season, orthopaedic centers and physical therapy clinics all over the Treasure Valley “spring” to life.  Whether you are a pitcher, swimmer, goalie, or runner, you run the risk of getting an overuse injury or a muscle strain without proper conditioning. 

The hardest part of being an athlete is suffering from an injury.  Do I tell the coach?  Should I sit out of practice?  Will I still have my spot when I get back?  As a physical therapist, deciding whether someone is capable of playing is probably the most difficult aspects of my job.  To start, I look at strength and range of motion of the individual.  Then, I assess the functional needs of the athlete in relation to the sport that he/she is participating.  When the athlete is able to actively go through full range of motion and has good strength, we usually begin functional training.  This may include lunges, squats, agility drills, or even a throwing or running progression.  Making sure the athlete is strong enough to return is a big concern which is why these functional progressions are so important. 

 When rehabilitation has concluded, I try to insert the athlete back into practice while keeping a close eye on him/her to ensure that the injury doesn’t flare up again.  I encourage my athletes start with a good warm-up:  1. Jog and stretch.  2. Gradual increase to full speed running.  3. Agility exercises with gradual increase in intensity.  4. Gradual increase in sport specific movements.  Following those steps, the athlete can partake in regular practice.  Even when practice concludes, the athlete is still not done.  A cool down routine is necessary.  Usually, I ask athletes to cool down with jogging then stretching.  I also instruct the athlete to ice the injury following all activity for 15-20 minutes.

A good rule of thumb for returning to sports after an injury is:  If your injury is sore and swollen the day after practice, you should take the next day off, then lighten your workload for the next practice.  Coming back from injury too soon may cause you to miss more time. 

Brett Walker
Sports Resident, St. Luke’s-Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Services

Free Speech & Language Screening

What is a screening?

  • A speech and language screening assesses a child’s abilities in the areas of: voice (tone, loudness), articulation (pronouncing sounds), fluency (stuttering), and language (understanding and using words).


Who is a candidate for a screening?

  • Any child, ages 3-5, who has shown cause for concern relating to speech and language development.   


How long will the screening take to complete?

  • Screenings take approximately 15 minutes.  Results and recommendations are provided at the conclusion of the screening.  Results may determine if a child is a candidate for a comprehensive assessment in the areas indicated. 


How do I schedule an appointment?

  • Call Jasmynn or Patricia, at 489-5880 to schedule your free screening. 
    • Screenings are held from 12:00pm to 1:00pm on scheduled dates.  Jasmynn or Patricia will inform you of the next available dates.    


St. Luke’s ♦ Idaho Elks Pediatric Rehabilitation Services

600 E. Riverpark Ln., Suite 105

Boise, ID 83706

(208) 489-5880 Fax (208) 658-9820