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Returning to sport and the brain after sports injuries

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Goal: To contribute to better return to sports decisions after sports injuries and to develop strategies to map the interaction of the brain with different types of acute fatigue after sports injuries.

Short summary: In the past, when someone suffered a sports injury, it was mainly the affected region that was looked at, both within scientific research and in clinical practice. Recently, this local focus was shifted to a more holistic vision. This holistic vision is also very much alive in the sports world and this paradigm shift has led to the development of a complex return to sports algorithm. Within this complex vision, current scientific research on the role of the brain after (sports) injuries as well as the influence of different types of fatigue on this is in its infancy. This line of research lends itself to documenting the role of the brain after (sports) injuries and to exploring the interactions with fatigue.

Today, we are developing strategies to assess the interaction of the brain with different types of acute fatigue during functional performance tests. These functional tests are used in clinical practice to support the return to sports decision. However, we do not know how the brain behaves during these tests, nor do we know how fatigue affects performance in these tests. A better understanding of the interactions of the brain with acute fatigue after sports injuries should lead to new and better treatment strategies in clinical practice, as well as a more effective and safer return to sport.

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