Working with an injured athlete prior to surgery has proven to be a game changer when it comes to the athlete’s approach to surgery, pain management, and the rehab process.
Helping athletes work through rational and irrational fears about surgery, processing concerns about the impact the injury will have on their performance, calming their anxiety about the rehab process, and gaining clarity about their identity as an athlete all help the athlete approach surgery with less fear and anxiety.
A calm brain produces fewer stress-related hormones, so the mind and body have a remarkably different experience of surgery than the athlete who goes into surgery tense, scared, and filled with anxiety.
Recently, I had the pleasure of working with an athlete as she was preparing to return to play after ACL surgery. This is an athlete that I saw a few days before surgery and a few more times as she worked her way through the rehab process.
The surgery and recovery process have gone so well for this athlete that I decided to request an interview to capture and share the power and significance that pre-surgery treatment can have on an injured athlete facing surgery.
I have kept the athlete’s name private to maintain confidentiality. I will say that this athlete is a female high school soccer player who tore her ACL.
Question: How long ago was your surgery, and how did the injury happen?
Athlete: About 8 months ago. I was going after a 50/50 ball on the soccer field. We collided, and I tore the ACL in my left knee. [Read more…]