What is Sports Physiotherapy?

David Gregor Physiotherapy, Sports Physiotherapy


One of the most common reasons that patients book physiotherapy assessments across our
network of Canadian clinics is to treat injuries obtained from playing sports.

From strains & sprains to full-on broken bones, our clinicians have seen it all.

It’s no surprise: we’re an active country, and the intensity of some of our favourite athletic activities can easily lend themselves to slips, falls and aches & pains of varying severity.

But what exactly does a sports physiotherapist do to help treat athletic injuries? And when do you know if it’s time to simply slap some ice on it and play the waiting game, or if it’s time to book an appointment and get professional treatment?

What does a sports physiotherapist do?

A sports physiotherapist helps treat a range of injuries obtained from athletic activity.

They begin by performing an assessment, both to determine the cause & severity of your injury and to develop a treatment plan that’s designed to relieve your pain and help you return to pre-injury levels.

Once the plan has been developed, they will work out a regular appointment schedule and will likely provide you with specific at-home exercises that will also help improve your recovery.

What kinds of injuries does a sports physiotherapist treat?

In a nutshell: 

A sports physiotherapist will treat injuries obtained from doing just about anything that would fall under the category of athletic activity – regardless of intensity – and that are painful or debilitating enough to keep you out of the game for a time.

To be more specific, here’s a look at some common injuries that a sports physiotherapist can treat:

  • Low back strain / pain
  • Rotator cuff / shoulder injury
  • ACL or knee ligament sprains
  • Meniscus tears
  • Runner’s or jumper’s knee
  • Groin strain
  • Ankle sprains / instabilities
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Any sprains / strains at other anatomical locations

Suffering from a sports injury? Find your local pt Health clinic and book a sports physiotherapy assessment today.

What kind of treatment methods does a sports physiotherapist use?

Typical approaches to treatment in sports physiotherapy include one or more of the following:

  • Sports / activity-specific exercises and training
  • Bracing and taping (athletic and kinesiotaping)
  • Fabrication of protective pads
  • Manual and manipulative therapy
  • Muscle reconditioning
  • Proprioceptive training
  • Movement education
  • Acupuncture / Intramuscular stimulation / Function dry needling

When should I see a sports physiotherapist?

You may be wondering if your sports injury is severe enough to see a physiotherapist for treatment. 

In most cases, the injury you have sustained may be able to heal on its own or over time, but there is usually a reason you sustained it that doesn’t involve someone colliding with you.

Even if you consider it a minor injury, the likelihood of recurrence is quite high and it could happen again – only it could be much worse and more painful.

The quicker the root cause of the issue is addressed, the more successful your recovery will be!

Is sports physiotherapy covered by insurance?

Sports physiotherapy services at pt Health are covered by most extended health insurance companies, and in some cases, Veterans Affairs and Medicare, such as:

  • OHIP (Ontario)
  • Alberta Health Care (Alberta)
  • Medical Service Plan MSP (British Columbia)

Not sure if you’re covered? No problem. We can help you find out (and usually within the hour). Just call us toll free at 1-866-586-0184.

Book an assessment with a sports physiotherapist today

If you’ve been injured playing sports and want to get back in the game, find your local pt Health clinic and book a sports physiotherapy assessment today.

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