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  • Author: Gray Cook x
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Michael L. Voight and Gray Cook

Enhancing the ability to function within one's environment and to perform activities of daily living is a common goal in rehabilitation. The entire rehabilitation process should be focused on improving the patient's functional status. A functional progression for return to activity can be developed by breaking specific activities down into a hierarchy and then performing them in a sequence that allows for acquisition or reacquisition of skill. Rehabilitation following injury has focused upon restoring muscular strength, endurance, and joint flexibility without any consideration of the role of the neuromuscular mechanism. A common error in rehabilitation is assuming that clinical programs alone using traditional methods will safely return the athlete to function. Limiting athletic rehabilitation to these traditional programs often results in an incomplete restoration of athletic ability and quite possibly an increased risk of reinjury. Reactive neuromuscular training fills the gap left by traditional rehabilitation in order to return the athlete to activity.

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Kyle Kiesel, Lee Burton and Gray Cook

Column-editor : Carl G. Mattacola

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Lee Burton, Kyle Kiesel and Gray Cook

Column-editor : Carl G. Mattacola

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Kyle Kiesel, Lee Burton and Gray Cook

Column-editor : Carl G. Mattacola

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C. Martyn Beaven, Christian Cook, David Gray, Paul Downes, Ian Murphy, Scott Drawer, John R. Ingram, Liam P. Kilduff and Nicholas Gill

Rugby preseason training involves high-volume strength and conditioning training, necessitating effective management of the recovery-stress state to avoid overtraining and maximize adaptive gains.

Purpose:

Compression garments and an electrostimulation device have been proposed to improve recovery by increasing venous blood flow. These devices were assessed using salivary testosterone and cortisol, plasma creatine kinase, and player questionnaires to determine sleep quality, energy level, mood, and enthusiasm.

Methods:

Twenty-five professional rugby players were assigned to 1 of 2 treatments (compression garment or a concurrent combination of electrostimulation and compression) in a crossover design over 2 × 2-wk training blocks.

Results:

Substantial benefits were observed in self-assessed energy levels (effect size [ES] 0.86), and enthusiasm (ES 0.80) as a result of the combined treatment when compared with compression-garment use. The combination treatment had no discernable effect on salivary hormones, with no treatment effect observed. The electrostimulation device did tend to accelerate the return of creatine kinase to baseline levels after 2 preseason rugby games when compared with the compression-garment intervention (ES 0.61; P = .08).

Conclusions:

Electrostimulation elicited psychometric and physiological benefits reflective of an improved recovery-stress state in professional male rugby players when combined with a lower-body compression garment.