Rehabilitation is, by definition, the restoration of optimal form and function for an athlete. In this edition in the Encyclopedia series, the editor and contributors advocate that rehabilitation should begin as soon as possible after the injurty occurs, alongside therapeutic measures such as anti-inflammatories and other pain killing agents. This might also begin before, or immediately after, surgery. The rehabilitative process is therefore managed by a multi-disciplinary team, including physicians, physiotherapists, psychologists, nutritionists, and athletic trainers, amongst others. This book considers the three phases of rehabilitation: pain relief, protection of the affected area and limitation of tissue damage; limitation of impairment and recovery of flexibility, strength, endurance, balance and co-ordination; and finally the start of conditioning to return to training and competition.
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