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Modern Athletic Science of Returning the Injured Athlete to Sports

A multifaceted rehabilitation approach to returning the injured athlete to sports.

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About this Certificate Program

Overuse injuries in sports are a major factor in loss of scholarships, emotional and financial hardship, and can lead to more complex problems. This program is a multifaceted rehabilitation approach to returning the injured athlete to sports. Through lecture and live patient cases, this course will include an overview of neuromuscular training, strength training, and manual therapy concepts for athletic injuries.

The certificate program will review the etiology of athletic injuries, which include the influence of poor mechanics, poor balance, and muscle imbalances. The participant will be presented with evaluation and treatment concepts for overuse injuries, as well as strength-training concepts, including strength-training programs to improve performance through plyometrics, open kinetic chain and closed kinetic chain exercises. Upon completing this certificate program, participants will be better prepared to implement a return to sports program.

Target Audience

This certificate program is appropriate for any clinician interested in becoming better prepared to implement a return to sports program for their athletes. Specifically, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and athletic trainers will find this course relevant to their patient population.

Goals & Objectives

  • Describe the physiological adaptations within the muscle following strength exercises and list the major contributors to improving muscle strength.
  • Explain the difference between strength, power, and endurance and distinguish how to train Type I, Type IIA, and Type IIB muscle fibers.
  • Understand the physiology of plyometric exercises.
  • Describe the components of the sensorimotor system and discuss the importance of proprioception in the lower and upper limbs.
  • Summarize the purpose and components of a neuromuscular training program.
  • Describe normal mechanics of the shoulder, their application to evaluation and treatment, and the different phases of the overhead-throwing athlete.
  • Perform an evaluation of the shoulder complex, structural, muscle testing, special tests and individual mobilization techniques to the shoulder and identify various pathologies of the overhead throwing shoulder.
  • Describe and identify abnormal and normal pronation of the rearfoot and foot orthotics intervention.
  • Identify factors in the etiology of non-contact ACL tears and the rehabilitation principles.
  • Describe hip and trunk pathology and identify the influence of muscle deficits in the hip that are etiological factors in overuse injuries of the lower limb.

What's Included in the Certificate Program

Accredited Online Courses*

15 hours of online video lectures and patient demonstrations.

Interactive Learning Assessments

Case-based quizzes to evaluate and improve clinical reasoning.

Patient Education
HEP and Patient Education

HEP and patient education resources to use with your patients.

Section 1: Foundations

1 Chapters

Foundations of Returning the Injured Athlete to Sports: Muscle Physiology, Strength Training, and Eccentric Loadingkeyboard_arrow_down

  • OverviewChapter 1

    Outline each phase in the four phased approach to returning the injured athlete to sports. Describe the “Core” as it relates to the functional biomechanics described in this chapter. Define eccentric exercise and relate it’s benefits to returning the injured athlete to sports.

  • Practical Muscle PhysiologyChapter 2

    Compare and contrast the different types of muscle fibers and justify how an understanding of their function can impact the design of a return to sport program. Explain the sliding filament theory of muscle contraction. Outline the role of ATP in muscle function. Compare and contrast function and purpose of the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Outline hormonal function and nutritional needs of athletes.

  • The Keys to Starting a Training ProgramChapter 3

    Outline the muscle adaptations that occur during a strength training program. Compare and contrast the muscle hypertrophy that occurs in each of the different muscle fibers during resistance training. Identify the most common fiber type conversion that occurs in a prolonged program of resistance training. Explain the physiological adaptations of muscle seen as a result of High Intensity Resistance Training. Understand common imbalances in the shoulder, and core, and relate them to the appropriate functional exercises to correct those imbalances.

  • Tendinopathy and Eccentric LoadingChapter 4

    Describe the benefits of eccentric exercises. Outline the damage and rebuilding processes that occur with eccentric exercises. Describe ballistic training and outline its purpose in a return to sport program. Identify the optimal combination of load and repetition when creating a strength training program.

  • View full course details »

Section 2: Lower Quarter

3 Chapters

Returning the Injured Athlete to Sports: Lower Limb, Trunk, and Hipkeyboard_arrow_down

  • Lumbo-Pelvic ComplexChapter 1

    Define the anatomy of the core as it relates to lower limb injuries in the athlete. Outline 6 complex movement patterns for the lumbar-pelvic-hip complex. Define stability exercised and relate their benefit to returning the injured athlete to sport.

  • Anatomy of the CoreChapter 2

    Explain the importance of the subtalar joint as a torque converter during rotation. Define muscle dysfunction and its role in transmitting and shifting load to the discs and ligaments. Explain the importance of stabilization to the spine. Outline the 3 components of the stabilization systems.

  • GaitChapter 3

    Explain ‘waste basket’ terms associated with sports hernias. Identify common deformities of the femoral neck. Identify common impingements of the femoral head-neck.

  • AssessmentChapter 4

    Explain the role of hip flexors and their importance during gait. Define the 3 movement patterns in triplanar hip movement. Explain the function of the gluteus maximus during gait. Identify the importance of the gluteus maximus during gait.

  • ExercisesChapter 5

    Identify the importance of the adductors of the hip and why they should be strengthened. Explain the importance of strengthening the posterior fibers of the gluteus medius in returning an athlete to sport. Explain how external rotator strength is important to knee mechanics, especially in running activities.

  • View full course details »

Returning the Injured Athlete to Sports: New Concepts in ACL Rehabilitationkeyboard_arrow_down

  • OverviewChapter 1

    Explain the importance of knowing when greater anterior shearing forces are occurring. Connect the movements that can produce increased and decreased shearing forces to the ACL. Define three tests that emphasize the vestibular, vision, and somatosensory systems which provide balance. Explain the factors that are responsible for greater ACL tears in female athletes compared to male athletes.

  • Vestibular Training and ACL RehabilitationChapter 2

    Explain the importance of the relationship between the vestibular-ocular reflex (VOR) and dynamic visual acuity. Explain which test is most reliable and valid in determining vestibular dysfunction. Connect patient history responses to vestibular-ocular reflex dysfunction. Define saccades, smooth pursuit and optokinetics and their importance in the vestibular-ocular system.

  • DemonstrationsChapter 3

    Define three exercises that are important for returning an athlete to sport following an ACL repair. Define what exercises are beneficial in restoring a normal vestibular-occular reflex. Define what exercises are beneficial in improving hand-eye coordination.

  • View full course details »

Returning the Injured Athlete to Sports: Foot, Ankle, and Orthoticskeyboard_arrow_down

  • Normal Mechanics of the Foot and Lower ExtremityChapter 1

    Identify the three important movements that describe Triplanar closed kinetic chain pronation. Identify at what joint torque conversion occurs. Explain the Windlass mechanism, at what joint it occurs and when in the gait cycle. Identify how many body plan e movements involved in the torque conversion of the rotational forces of the lower kinetic chain.

  • Abnormal Foot Characteristics and Overuse InjuriesChapter 2

    Explain the importance of pronation, how it is measured and in which direction. Identify the seven distinct tests of the foot and ankle that can assist the clinician in determining abnormal findings. Explain how to assess a rigid plantar flexed first metatarsal. Identify three overuse injuries of the lower leg caused by pronation of the subtalar joint occurring too long into the gait cycle.

  • Foot OrthoticsChapter 3

    Explain three research findings of the effectiveness of foot orthotics. Identify possible causes of posterior medial pain within the lower one third of the tibia. Connect the relationship of the Peroneus Longus, the subtalar joint and the metatarsal joint. Recommend possible treatment approaches to improving the pulley mechanism of the cuboid-peroneus longus.

  • Case StudyChapter 4

    Determine the mechanisms of over pronation of the rearfoot and the implications it has on the midfoot and forefoot mechanics. Identify the most effective treatment approach to increase the stability of the forefoot in the push-off phase of gait. Explain three key signs a therapist should look for to determine excessive pronation of the subtalar joint. Explain three key signs a therapist should look for to determine excessive supination of the subtalar joint. Explain three treatment approaches upon observing a calcaneal rock.

  • View full course details »

Section 3: The Shoulder

2 Chapters

Return to Sport of the Overhead Athletekeyboard_arrow_down

  • The Overhead Throwing Athlete PathologiesChapter 1

    In this chapter, the pathologies of the overhead throwing shoulder are covered in depth. This includes labral tears, scapula dysfunction, and instability-impingement rotator cuff tears. Finally, Robert Donatelli will discuss strengthening exercises as an important part of rehabilitation.

  • Instability of the ShoulderChapter 2

    This chapter provides an in-depth look into shoulder instability, focusing on instability-impingement rotator cuff tears. These include tears of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and the subscapularis. Concepts such as dynamic instability and gleno-humeral kinematics provide the participant with a thorough understanding of these conditions.

  • Dynamic Control and BalanceChapter 3

    In order to fully understand and manage the return to sport of the overhead throwing athlete, this chapter provides the participant with a detailed analysis and understanding of the dynamic control and balance required to safely perform overhead throwing mechanics. It further summarizes important concepts in the overhead athlete’s rehabilitation process.

  • Case StudiesChapter 4

    Join Dr. Donatelli in exploring specific case studies that bring additional relevance and application of the concepts discussed in this course.

  • View full course details »

Rehabilitation of the Throwing Shoulderkeyboard_arrow_down

  • Biomechanics of the ShoulderChapter 1

    It is important to understand the mechanics of the shoulder in order to be able to restore the important components that improve performance and facilitate the rehabilitation of the athlete. This chapter provides an in-depth introduction to the biomechanics of the shoulder and how they are impacted in the overhead throwing athlete.

  • Phases of ThrowingChapter 2

    Chapter Two identifies the shoulder mechanics of the overhead throwing athlete from early cocking phase to acceleration/deceleration. This chapter further includes muscle activity during the different phases.

  • Pathophysiology of the Overhead Athlete’s ShoulderChapter 3

    This chapter covers several pathophysiologies of the overhead athlete’s shoulder, particularly focusing on GIRD. This section includes the physiology behind these conditions, stretches for rehabilitation, and treatment of these conditions.

  • View full course details »

CEU Approved

15 total hours* of accredited coursework.
MedBridge accredits each course individually so you can earn CEUs as you progress.

      Our clinic could not be happier with MedBridge.

Amy Lee, MPT, OCS
Physical Therapy Central

       MedBridge has allowed us to create a culture of learning that we were previously unable to attain with traditional coursework.

Zach Steele, PT, DPT, OCS
Outpatient Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services

    MedBridge has created a cost-effective and quality platform that is the future of online education.

Grant R. Koster, PT, ATC, FACHE
Vice President of Clinical Operations, Athletico Physical Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I get CEU credit?
Each course is individually accredited. Please check each course for your state and discipline. You can receive CEU credit after each course is completed.

When do I get my certificate?
You will receive accredited certificates of completion for each course as you complete them. Once you have completed the entire Certificate Program you will receive your certificate for the program.

*Accreditation Hours
Each course is individually accredited and exact hours will vary by state and discipline. Check each course for specific accreditation for your license.

Do I have to complete the courses in order?
It is not required that you complete the courses in order. Each Certificate Program's content is built to be completed sequentially but it is not forced to be completed this way.

How long do I have access to the Certificate Program?
You will have access to this Certificate Program for as long as you are a subscriber. Your initial subscription will last for one year from the date you purchase.

Sample Certificate

Sample Certificate

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