How Can Sports Physiotherapy Help You?
Sports physiotherapy is a specialised branch of physiotherapy that aims to treat injuries and issues that have occurred as a result of practising sport or exercise. It is a rehabilitative therapy that not only aims to accelerate the healing process, but also aims to prevent sports and exercise related injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. A sports physiotherapist will work with the patient to improve training techniques and posture, and to identify any other unhelpful factors such as unsuitable equipment.
A physiotherapist will evaluate injuries within the context of the sporting activity itself whilst taking into consideration the individual’s fitness routine and general lifestyle. From this, a personalised treatment plan will be created that aims to not only treat any injuries and optimise the healing process, but also to improve the overall performance and technique of the individual. This may involve specific exercises, stretches, hands on manipulation as well as habit and lifestyle changes.
What Types of Injuries Can a Sports Physiotherapist Treat?
Sport or regular intensive exercise can cause specific types of injury. This is often a result of the impact and strain repetitive movements can have on the ligaments, muscles, joints, tendons and other soft tissues. For those that regularly practice sports, aches and pains and the occasional injury are generally considered to be part of the package. However, some types of injuries can be debilitating, not only hindering performance in sports related activities, but also interfering significantly with daily activities.
In the case of a sports or exercise related injury, the area should be protected and not further aggravated. Rest, over the counter pain relief medication, which can be used to relieve painful symptoms as well as reducing any swelling; and immobilisation to prevent movement, can all be helpful in initially reducing pain, muscle swelling and spasms. If symptoms persist or the injury is severe, it is important to seek treatment. In the case of a suspected fracture or dislocation, emergency medical attention will be required with follow up rehabilitation and physiotherapy, however for other types of injuries, a sports physiotherapist can be contacted directly.
Sports Physiotherapy can help with a number of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries including, but not limited to, the following:
- General muscular aches and pains
- Patellofemoral Syndrome or other types of knee injury
- Tennis elbow
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Hamstring strain
- Plantar fasciitis/Shin splints
- Fracture rehabilitation
- Post-surgical recovery
- Joint dislocation rehabilitation
- Chronic pain conditions, such as, sciatica
What Happens During A Consultation With A Sports Physiotherapist?
During an initial consultation, the sports physiotherapist will carry out a physical assessment and evaluation of the patient and examine the injury. The individual’s habits and lifestyle and any other predisposing factors to injury and overall health, will be taken into consideration to help determine a diagnosis. For some types of injuries additional diagnostic testing may also be used, such as ultrasound, MRI scans, X-Ray, strength testing and muscle analysis.
Once a diagnosis has been reached, a treatment plan will be devised. This may involve a range of therapeutic interventions and exercise rehabilitation including, hands on massage and manipulation, taping, exercises and stretches designed to increase the range of motion and help recovery, as well as graded rehabilitation programme which will be prescribed for you. Variables such as the workplace may also be assessed and subsequently modified, as part of the treatment programme.
Shockwave therapy is used as part of treatment by many sports therapists. This non-invasive therapy uses acoustic soundwaves to break up any type of tissue calcification and to stimulate regrowth. It has minimal side effects and allows the patient to recover effectively.
How We Can Help
Our sports physiotherapists are highly trained in the prevention and management of sports and exercise related injuries. Sports therapy uses evidence-based treatment techniques, however the injury was sustained, whether it was during marathon training or playing tennis, our aim is to help our patients to get safely back on track supporting them in achieving and exceeding their personal targets.
Preventing Reoccurring Injuries
Sports physiotherapy uses a holistic approach, evaluating all aspects of the individual’s health and lifestyle to help to prevent further injuries by focusing on correct training techniques, good posture, warming up properly, stretching, and cooling down, as well as assessing training equipment such as appropriate footwear etc., in order to safely recover and improve fitness levels. During assessment our therapists will always evaluate and analyse technique and lifestyle in order to determine if this has added to the problem, as well as treating the injury itself.
For more information on sports rehabilitation and our other services, get in touch today.