Safe Return to Sport: The Comprehensive Guide to RTS Testing

Safe Return to Sport: The Comprehensive Guide to RTS Testing

Article by Zoe Russell

Maximising Safe Return to Sport

A Comprehensive Guide to RTS Testing


Return to Sport (RTS) testing is a critical step in the journey of an athlete’s recovery from injury. As physiotherapists, we understand that every athlete’s dream is to get back to their sport as safely and quickly as possible. However, this process isn’t just about healing; it’s about making informed decisions based on a comprehensive understanding of the injury, the recovery progress, and the demands of the sport. RTS testing is not just a procedure; it’s a pathway to ensure your safe and effective return to the sport you love.

return to sports
Return To Sport Testing

Understanding RTS Testing

RTS testing, at its core, is a decision-making process. It involves a series of assessments to evaluate your readiness to return to sport. This testing is pivotal because it provides concrete data beyond just the biological healing times of your injury. For example, research, such as the study by Grindem (2018), shows that athletes who undergo RTS testing have a higher success rate and lower injury recurrence when returning to sport after a knee reconstruction.

The Role of Your PhysioWorks Physiotherapist

Your PhysioWorks physiotherapist plays a key role in RTS testing. They will guide you through a test battery tailored to your specific injury and recovery stage. This battery could include measures like the Knee Swelling Test or Range of Motion (ROM) assessments, which provide valuable insights into how well your injury is responding to rehabilitation.

Comprehensive Testing for a Holistic Approach

RTS testing is not just about the physical aspects. It covers a broad spectrum, including strength measures, hop tests, general fitness tests like the Beep Test or IR2 Test, and even psychological screenings for confidence or fear of re-injury. These tests create a comprehensive profile, allowing for a thorough decision-making process tailored to your needs.

The Shared Decision-Making Process

A crucial aspect of RTS testing is the collaborative approach. As an athlete, you will be involved in this shared decision-making process, alongside your physiotherapist, orthopaedic specialist, or other healthcare providers. Decisions are based on detailed information about your injury specifics, physical performance, fatigue levels, biological healing, and personal sports goals.

Incorporating Recent Research

Recent research in sports medicine underscores the importance of RTS testing. Studies continue to show that a well-structured RTS program significantly reduces the risk of re-injury. For instance, recent developments in testing protocols have highlighted the importance of not only physical readiness but also psychological preparedness for a safe return to sport.

Tailoring RTS to Your Needs

Your PhysioWorks physiotherapist is not just conducting tests; they are tailoring the RTS process to your specific injury and sport. They will work with you to develop a tertiary prevention program to prevent recurrence of your injury, ensuring that your return to sport is not just a one-time success but a sustainable continuation of your athletic journey.


In conclusion, RTS testing is a vital component of your injury recovery and return to sport. It’s a comprehensive process that takes into account your individual needs, injury specifics, and the demands of your sport. With the guidance of your PhysioWorks physiotherapist, you can navigate this journey with confidence, knowing that your return to sport is based on a solid foundation of professional assessment and tailored care.

What to Do Next?

If you’re an athlete recovering from an injury and eager to get back to your sport, consult with your PhysioWorks physiotherapist. They will provide you with expert guidance, conduct necessary RTS testing, and help you make informed decisions about your return to sport. Remember, your safe return to the sport you love is our top priority.

For more information, visit the PhysioWorks website, where you can find detailed insights into sports physiotherapy and injury conditions.

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