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  • Post-covid19 recovery in Football players explained by Dr Firoz Shaikh

    Published on September 9, 2021

    Dr.Firoz Shaikh sports Physiotherapist, founder of Physio core and sports medicine has been working with sports teams like IPL, ISL , Pro-Kabaddi  since many years .he has gained immense knowledge in Sports physiotherapy.  He explained how worldwide millions of people are affected by an extended duration of lock downs, isolation

    and quarantine because of COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to adverse effect in highly trained football players. The physical inactivity impacts the at players performance there by increasing risk factors for diabetes and cardio vascular disease due to lowered immunity. Although the forced sedentary life style of lockdown has affected both the younger and older players.

    Decreased inactivity levels during the pandemic has led to negative impacts not only physically but emotionally and psychologically. Maintaining of mental health due to uncertainty, anxiety, fear and depression requiring counselling for players is required.

    Dr.Firoz Shaikh say’s the football players who are doing some physical activities on their own are performing unsupervised exercises are at increased risk of injury and decreased level of fitness .

    With its direct negative potential in suppressing the neuroendocrine system and specifically targeting the immunity of the individuals. These physiological processes are closely related to the stress responses in the body. This would increase the detrimental potential of these processes owing to the long-term effects.

    So Dr.firoz Shaikh suggest in order to reduce these deconditioning effects of physical inactivity, there is a need to devise guidelines for gradually re-introducing the physical activity in these individuals.

    According to Dr.Firoz Shaikh taking into consideration the consequences of COVID- 19 on lung functions,players who experience chest congestion post covid19 recovery need to use an incentive spirometer to strengthen up the breathing muscles to ease off the process of breathing, supplementing the training with deep breathing and exercises like Pranayama.

    Following infection of COVID- 19 and during the recovery phase, support staff should also consider working on the psychological aspects. Dr.Firoz Shaikh explains  healthy diet and good  quality sleep is for  better mental health following the infection occurrence. he also recommends for at least 7-8 hours of regular sleep. Daytime naps or bed rest should be avoided and exercises should be performed in the evening so that one would be tired by night and fall asleep without any extra effort.

    Return to play (RTP) is permitted without extensive testing if the athletes are negative or asymptomatic.  Asymptomatic positive athletes should not do any exercise and training for 2-weeks along with strict isolation and can only walk of 6-7minutes in the confined room three to four times a day says Dr.Firoz Shaikh. Cardiac and pulmonary evaluation and periodic monitoring must be done, for the athletes with mild to moderate symptoms, activity and exercise should not be performed for at least 2 weeks from the day of resolution of symptoms and a comprehensive assessment is required on the cardiac front taking into considerations the imaging and cardiac biomarkers.

    Walking is generally recommended during the period of recovery but the duration and intensity should be gradual. The activity should only be resumed if one has properly recovered from the infection and are asymptomatic. . physical training, returning to the previous fitness and training load &Intensity, and then return to competition. Dr.Firoz Shaikh  also explains this process could take several months before an athlete could regain their premorbid status owing to the involvement of the cardio respiratory system and the long-term deconditioning effect so recovery should be scientifically monitored in terms of intensity and volume of load in the football players.

     Presently Dr.Firoz Shaikh Head physiotherapist of Odisha FC  is preparing for Indian super league   season 8 in Goa.