Recently one of our clients had a severe injury to his shoulder known as an AC Seperation. This is a very common injury to athletes who compete in contact sports. The injury was caused during some wrestling training for his upcoming MMA fight which was 3 weeks away.
It has been graded as a grade 4 seperation, which will require surgery. There are 6 grades of AC joint seperations ranging from a slight strain of the AC ligament up to complete dislocation of of the AC joint and a displacement of the clavicle. This has been noted in our client with part of the clavicle putting pressure into the trapezius muscle. After examination he will require surgery, but the earliest he can get in for the operation is 10 days away, so what do to do now?
Having any injury can be very hard to take as an athlete. From training up to 10 hours per week and being focused towards one goal to suddenly being told to rest with the possibility of not getting back to full training for over 12 weeks can have many detrimental effects. However this is where I feel both pre and post surgery strength training can have a profound effect on the athlete both physically and mentally from decreasing recovery time post surgery and also keeping the athlete focused so they don’t get hung up with their injury worries.
Considerations when planning a strength routine for someone with an injury:
- Find out exactly what the injury is and what the surgery procedure is.
- Have a plan, but this does not mean you have to stick to it.
- Be sensible, now is not a time to be shooting for PR’s.
- Give more attention to other areas or weaknesses if the injury allows itself, i.e hip mobility.
- Up your coaching cues to make sure the injured area is not disturbed.
- Good spotting.
- If an exercise hurts then dont do it.
- Keep the athlete focused.
- The goal is to get the athlete back to 100% as soon as possible.