Warriors Versus Worriers and Return to Sports
Returning to sports after ACL surgery requires time for the new ligament to mature and get strong. In addition, muscle strength and power and neuromuscular coordination need to be restored. Each of these factors may need at least 9-12 months to be at relatively safe levels. A fourth factor, the psychological readiness to return to sports, can often take longer than the 9- 12 months.
The psychological readiness can be influenced by the other factors. If an athlete feels weak and uncoordinated, they often (but not always) feel like they are not ready from a psychological standpoint to return to competition. How an athlete handles stress can affect their psychological readiness.
Enter the COMT gene, or the Warrior/Worrier gene. The COMT gene provides the code for making the enzyme Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase (COMT). COMT enzyme breaks down the catecholamine neurotransmitter dopamine (along with epinephrine and norepinephrine) in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Continue Reading Here