Why is the Optima Sports Medicine “Performance Enhancement Screening” important?”

The major source of problems experienced by athletes in affecting consistent, long term changes in technique (speed or technique of running, jumping, kicking or changing direction) are physical in nature. They fall into two broad categories:

  • an increase/decrease in range of motion of joints or soft tissue structures
  • lack of appropriate control or co-ordination of muscle and limb segments

It is important to realise that changes in range of motion may occur relatively quickly (weeks in the adolescent or months in the adult) but long-term efficient changed pattern of movement may take several months or years. All individuals and their coaches and significant others must be aware of the need to develop quality patterns of movement over a period of two to six years. This is especially important if dealing with potentially elite athletes.

The priority with initial intervention (screening and training) is to improve range of motion. These changes should preferably be made during the “off-season” (possibly for a period of 8-12 weeks) when the intensity of training is not too high. Rapid changes in range of motion during periods of frequent competition increases the likelihood of injury in all active individuals.

Following an Optima Spots Medicine Screening, significance will be made of movement control/muscle re-education. Increased attention is normally paid to this area over the passage of the three months (this being the normal review appointment time following initial intervention and training) to two years. We should not forget that “good” technique rarely results in pain. It is the primary goal of all intervention to prevent the incidence or recurrence of physical pain or problem for all individuals by establishing good patterns of movement/technique.

What will Performance Enhancement Screening find out?

  • weak muscles
  • tight muscles and soft tissue
  • injury prone structures
  • problems from their past injury history
  • relevant problems from the family and personal medical history
  • dentification of their individual physical development or growth stage

Why is the School, Programme Director or Coach encouraging you to have a Performance Enhancement Screening?:

      Because he/she feels it will:
  • Provide the individual or the organisation with an effective and tangible “risk reversal”
    • decrease injury rates
    • decrease recovery time
    • decrease re-injury rates
  • Aid athlete specific information dissemination
  • Save costs to the individual
  • Reflect the Programme or School commitment to a Duty of Care with regard to its individual athletes
  • Provide a win-win for all concerned….less time out with preventable injury…increased enjoyment and improved performance
  • Aid in the creation of sport specific injury data
  • Help to establish sport and injury specific prevention programmes
  • Improve athlete education re self- management strategies
  • Improve parent/guardian education regarding athletes; competence and understand of prevention of injury
  • Enable education of correct strategies for warm-up and stretching technique

How will the information gathered from the Performance Enhancement Screening benefit your son/daughter?

  • range of motion improvement
  • control of movement improvement
  • technique corrections
  • improvements in strength or movement recruitment patterns
  • tailor training programmes to athlete needs
  • regimes for appropriate progression of exercises and cross training
  • planning for appropriate field test to help individual coaches

Following the initial Optima Sports Medicine screening all athletes are encouraged to reinforce their long term athletic development by undertaking good functional movement development programmes and/or strength programmes – dependent upon the goals of the individual athlete and their training age. Please talk to one of the Optima Sports Medicine Physiotherapy staff if you have any concerns about what is appropriate