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EXERCISE AND THE SICK ATHLETE

Dr Tom Cross

A good rule of thumb when assessing whether a person should attempt exercise when they say they are"sick" is to do a "head check". If they complain only of symptoms "above the neck"(eg. Sore throat, runny nose, mild headache) they should be allowed to attempt exercise. Symptoms "below the neck" (general lethargy, raised resting pulse rate, muscle aches/pains, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea etc) suggest a more generalised illness and exercise is contraindicated as it may increase the severity and duration of the illness.

Rest is advised until the "below the neck symptoms " resolve. It is important to appreciate training not only during but also after an illness should be approached with caution to prevent prolongation of the condition. Resumption of training with reduced intensity and duration with a slow progression to maximal training effort by day 8-12.Trainers/Doctors etc need to act as advocates for recovering athletes in discussions with coaches to avoid a "too much too soon approach". The athlete and the coach also need to be aware that a recent (within 1 week) illness may negatively impact on their athletic performance in competition and thus should have a contingency plan if this should occur.

KNEE PAIN IN ATHLETES

 

 

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Index - Keywords - Pages copyright 2003 content © Australian Knee Clinic
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