Since sports have been an indispensable part of people’s lives, the importance of sports physiotherapy has increased. Sports physiotherapy is a subset of physiotherapy that works with athletes and sports professionals. It is committed to evaluating sports-related injuries and delivering great quality care. The primary goal of sports physiotherapy is to return the athlete to full form.
This blog tries to analyze how sports physiotherapy assists the athlete; the roles, the responsibilities, the common injuries, the techniques that they use, and the qualities that a sports physiotherapist must have.
What is Sports Physiotherapy?
Society of Sports Therapists (SST) defines this profession as “An area of health care that is specifically focused on injury prevention and patient rehabilitation to their highest levels of functional, occupational, and sport-specific fitness, regardless of age and ability. It applies the scientific method to sport and exercise, including pathological and physiological processes, to get the participant ready for training, competition, and, if necessary, employment.”
Both athletes and casual players who have suffered an injury or continuing issue can benefit from sports physiotherapy. Strains or even worse injuries are normally brought on by sports. The injuries may worsen if not given the appropriate attention and care. However, these injuries can be minimized and avoided with sports physiotherapy.
Benefits of Sports Physiotherapy
Athletes must put forth a lot of effort on the sports field. The Australian Department of Health reports that more than 90% of people are interested in sports and that 3 million kids and 11 million other adults take part in sports annually.
Many people mistakenly believe that physiotherapists can only be contacted if they are injured. But that is untrue. Through the help of sports physiotherapy, the therapist makes athletes capable of using both their minds and bodies while participating in sports. That is why they have a vital role in sports as a result.
These are the top seven benefits of using physiotherapy in sports:
Helps in Correcting and Improving the Techniques
Finding the athlete’s weak places is the physiotherapist’s primary responsibility. Their injuries are always caused by these weak spots. The therapist can discover the incorrect postures that the athlete adopts when running or jumping with personalized analysis. They aid in technique improvement and correction so that the athlete can progress while preventing injury.
Sports physiotherapists have encountered a wide range of sports ailments. They have a lot of experience, so they can spot injuries with ease. They promote healing measures that will help the athlete get back to his favourite sport. Physiotherapists work with athletes to examine their motions, address unhealthy habits, and build strength and coordination.
Sports participants often have busy schedules. They frequently train and push themselves. Rest time is constantly decreasing, which would cause aches and stiffness. Physical therapists treat patients with these minor aches and pains using a variety of strategies. This comprises:
- Soft tissue release
- Dry needling
- Manipulation techniques
These techniques will help the athlete stay fresh and produce great results in competitions.
Prepare the Athlete for the Upcoming Season
Prevention is always far better than cure. This notion is supported by sports physiotherapy as well. An athlete must practice injury management and injury prevention. Pre-season examinations determine a person’s readiness for the forthcoming competition. These evaluations will assist the physiotherapist in determining the patient’s areas of weakness and developing the appropriate strategies to keep them injury-free in the upcoming season.
Acute or On-site Treatment
Physical therapists that specialize in sports are qualified to evaluate acute injuries.
During practices, matches, or competitions, acute injuries frequently happen. Sports physiotherapists are well-suited to offer guidance and treat injuries right away. It’s essential to handle the injury as soon as it occurs. Therefore, it is always preferable if a physical therapist works with a sports team.
Help the Athlete’s Body Relax
Athletes who train frequently can experience distress. To relieve their stress, physiotherapists have to conduct various sessions for their recreation that will make the athletes feel better. This also helps them relax their muscles, regain energy, and have an overall healthier body.
Rehabilitation is a safe therapeutic approach that helps athletes treat their pain and regain their optimal performance:
- Exercises specifically designed to get them back to their pre-injury state
- A personalized exercise plan to reduce mobility issues
- Lowering the risk of subsequent sports-related injuries
- Getting ready to prevent recurring injury episodes
- Attain athlete’s full potential
ALSO READ: Physiotherapy Exercises For Lower Back Pain
Who Are Sports Physiotherapists?
Like other physical therapists, sports physiotherapists are experts in the structure and motion of the human body. They are involved in the management and prevention of injuries caused by participation in sports and exercise by people of various ages and abilities. In order to make the athletes fit, they are also concerned with promoting a healthy lifestyle for them.
Most of these physical therapists work in clubs or private settings. When they are employed by clubs, they are expected to travel with the squad to provide physiotherapy services, injury prevention measures, and rehabilitation.
As we all know, injuries are a common occurrence for athletes. This is mainly because they constantly attempt to surpass their expectations. But it is important to keep these people from the clutches of injuries. So the need for physical therapists in sports is high. Professional athletes, as well as amateur athletes, are frequently treated by sports physiotherapists.
Significance of Sports Physiotherapy
Sports physiotherapy is significant because it is one of the finest fields for treating and assisting in the prevention of sports injuries. Physical therapy becomes important when it can accelerate recovery and assist patients in getting back to their daily activities as soon as possible.
The role and responsibility that physical therapy has to play in sports are huge. The physiotherapist, the player, and the coach all have important roles to play in sports. The major goals of sports physiotherapists are to assist athletes in establishing long-term wellbeing, enhancing daily performance, and recovering from injuries and chronic pain issues.
What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of Sports Physiotherapists?
Physiotherapists are responsible for a variety of roles, including:
- Recognize, evaluate, and assess the injuries.
- Give measures to prevent injuries.
- Manage the individual by using techniques such as therapeutic intervention, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement.
- Identify the cause of the injury.
- Developing an individualized treatment plan.
- Make a realistic agreement with the sportsperson about their recovery based on a time scale.
- Keep records about the treatment and their recovery.
- Provide immediate care if necessary.
The roles and responsibilities of physical therapists often vary. They depend on several other factors, which include:
- Sports that they are involved in.
- The specific role that the injured person plays.
- The performance level of the sport.
ALSO READ: Active vs Passive Physiotherapy
Qualities of a Sports Physiotherapist
Sports physiotherapists should have certain qualities that make them the best for this job. This includes:
- Be a professional
- Good interpersonal skills
- Good communication skills
- Always be accessible
- Have an interest in sports, especially in the area where he or she works
- Be open-minded and have to accept athletes the way they are
Qualities that athletes expect from a physiotherapist are:
Common Sports Injuries
There is always a high risk of injury when someone begins playing sports, whether they are professionals or not. Sports physiotherapy is capable of giving acute care right away to prevent the injury from getting worse. Knowing common injuries and how to treat them on your own is always preferable. The following is a list of the most common sports injuries.
In sports, injuries to the knee are pretty common. It is important to treat knee injuries seriously. The athlete can return to top shape with the proper amount of rest and medication.
Sprains or strains:
A strain is caused by a stretched or torn muscle or tendon, whereas a sprain is
caused by a stretched or torn ligament. Falling, pulling, and twisting can cause sprains and strains.
The symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, muscle spasms, trouble moving the muscles, etc. Pain can be reduced by icing, using a bandage, or using a device that compresses the area.
Rotator cuff injuries:
The rotator cuff is a part of the shoulder joint. These injuries are quite common. Doing the same arm movements over and over again is the reason behind this injury. Athletes can manage pain to some extent by resting, applying more ice, and taking painkillers.
Fractures, dislocations, swollen muscles, tennis elbow, shin splints, groin pulls, and hamstring strains are other common injuries in sports.
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Techniques or Treatments in Sports Physiotherapy
The primary goal of physical therapy is to make the athlete relax. Therapists and athletes should get along well with one another and, more importantly, trust one another. This will make the athlete more at ease around the therapists and make it easier for the therapist to detect injuries. The most frequently employed physiotherapy methods or treatments are:
- Acupuncture and dry needling
- Workplace physiotherapy