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What is Sports Physiotherapy?

What is Sports Physiotherapy?

Sports physiotherapy is a specialized branch of physical therapy which deals with injuries and issues related to athletics. Experts in sports physiotherapy perform their thorough practice and research, in order to help athletes recover from chronic injuries, and provide them insightful knowledge and comprehensive ways to prevent problems.

Therapy services are generally available to persons of all ages engaged in sports at any level of competition. Research efforts that physiotherapists undergo, lead to a better understanding of sports injuries and improved rehabilitation techniques. Sports injuries certainly differ from normal, every-day injuries.

Each sports physiotherapist has sport-specific knowledge that addresses acute, chronic or overuse injuries. Let’s find out what a sports physiotherapists does:

What Does a Sports Physiotherapist Do?

A sports physiotherapist like any other, in terms of treatment, takes a comprehensive look at the medical history of the patient and examines the injury thoroughly. Treatment can only be carried out once the sports therapist knows which specific part of the patient’s body is affected.

The first step is taking a history which accounts for previous injuries, the nature of the sport practiced, and any family history of similar injury or potential underlying causes.

Posture, movement, gait, pain and stiffness are some of the categories assessed during the examination. Contemplating these categories, the physiotherapist gets a better idea of which part of the body requires attention and treatment.

After the assessment and evaluation stage, a sports physiotherapist has a number of key objectives for treating sports injuries. As sports injuries are typically musculoskeletal (affecting the muscular and skeletal systems), the aims are quite generalized and tailored specific individual needs:

  • Protecting the injury to prevent further damage, facilitate recovery, and to control the first stage of such injuries, inflammation.
  • Pain management is also a part and responsibility of a sports physiotherapist.
  • The healthiest way to control pain is by physical means, using, for instance, deep tissue massage or heat treatments to restore circulation into the affected area.
  • A sports therapist also has to ensure that the patient gets his or her functional movement by restoring flexibility and strength in and around the injured area. Depending on the extent of the damage and the area affected, this can be achieved by controlled manipulations, assisted exercise, stretching, and massage.

​Sports physiotherapists also provide deep tissue massages which can prevent injury by soothing muscles and improving circulation within them after training sessions. Moreover, sports physiotherapists also provide advice on how to train properly, maintain proper posture during strength training, for example, how to stretch healthy to keep muscles, tendons and ligaments warm and supple, hence preventing injuries.