Sports Injury Physiotherapy
What is Sports Injury Physiotherapy?
Sports injury physiotherapy is a specialized form of physiotherapy specifically treating injuries sustained in sports, whether you play recreationally or professionally.
Children are also treated for sports-related injuries through sports injury physiotherapy.
The goal of sports injury physiotherapy is to give you the tools to get well and stay well so you can get back to doing the sport you love.
In addition to working one-on-one with your physiotherapist to achieve a successful recovery, each patient is treated individually to improve their overall performance and skill, as well as understand proper stretching and strengthening techniques to prevent future injury.
What Causes Sports Injuries?
Injuries can happen in virtually any sport, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying your sport and staying active.
Properly warming up, stretching, and cooling down, as well as using proper equipment and technique can go a long way toward avoiding injury.
Common causes leading to injury in sports include:
- Repetitive motions such as throwing, swinging, running, or jumping that cause overuse injuries
- Muscle strain, sprain, tear, and/or imbalance
- Sprained or torn ligaments and tendons
- Impact injuries
- Playing through pulled or stiff muscles
- Tendonitis or bursitis
- Previous injury
- Returning to sport too soon after injury or surgery
- Incorrect technique or training in sports including lack of strength training, insufficient warm-ups, and stretching
- Improper equipment
- Potential joint dysfunction
What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Sports-Related Injury?
Depending on the type, severity and location of your injury, symptoms may include:
- Muscle weakness
- Tenderness when touched
Concerned about symptoms of a sports-related injury? Book a physiotherapy assessment at your local pt Health clinic today.
How Are Sports Injuries Treated?
Treatment depends on the type and severity of your injury.
Mild strains, sprains, and cases of tendonitis can be treated at home or in a clinical setting using the RICE protocol:
- Applying ice packs for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times a day, typically for the first 48 hours or until swelling goes down
- Resting, compressing and elevating the injured body part
- Avoiding activities that cause pain
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers such as Advil or Aleve to reduce pain and swelling
For more severe or recurring injuries, treatment can include:
- Medications for the short-term, including:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either prescribed, or over-the-counter, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Corticosteroid injections
- Surgery – if surgery is necessary after other less invasive treatments have not helped, physiotherapy is an important part of rehabilitation
Physiotherapy for Sports Injuries
Physiotherapy is a drug-free and non-surgical treatment that focuses on reducing pain and swelling, regaining strength, increasing mobility and function, and preventing recurrence.
At pt Health, you’ll receive a comprehensive individual analysis that fully assesses the extent and cause of your injury, your former and desired performance level, and any risk factors that need management.
The same amount of attention needs to be paid to children’s sports injuries, even though kids tend to heal quickly.
With their growing bodies, there is a special need to ensure that muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments heal properly and fully, since the therapeutic and rehabilitation process will inform their future activity, mobility, and function.
Kids can also benefit from the same teaching around better technique, risk prevention, and how to compete safely.
Even if the physiotherapist simply teaches a child how to rest an injury and control swelling and stiffness with ice and heat, that child will be able to use that knowledge for the rest of their lives.
Depending on your (or your child’s) individual needs, physiotherapy can include:
- Activity modification and functional retraining
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Range of motion and flexibility exercises
- Balance and control exercises
- Stability and endurance exercises
- Bracing or taping
- Personalized exercise plan that can be done at home to encourage continuous improvement and progress
- Preventative strategies to help you manage injury risk factors through improved technique
- Patient education, actively involving you in your own recovery, including return to sport recommendations
- Cross-disciplinary pain-relieving therapies such as:
Can a Sports-Related Injury Go Away On Its Own?
While some mild injuries can be treated at home following the RICE protocol, many injuries can reoccur and become chronic if not treated properly, including allowing enough time to heal and strengthen the necessary muscles.
If you want to get back in the game, it is beneficial to see a physiotherapist so you’re not sidelined for too long.
Can You Prevent a Sports-Related Injury?
Because of the repetitive motion associated with many sports, a player might not realize just how badly they are hurt until it’s too late.
This is why proper technique and conditioning is so important.
Physiotherapists are experts in body mechanics, so speak to a physiotherapist about the best exercises and preventative strategies for your activities.
Preventative tips to stay in the game include:
- Warm up and stretch before exercise
- Cool down and stretch after exercise
- Practice proper technique in sport including targeted stretching and strengthening exercises
- Start a new exercise or fitness program slowly, and gradually increase your training
- Take regular breaks from activities that involve repetitive movements
- Practice good posture
- Wear orthotics and properly supportive shoes for your activity
- Eat a non-inflammatory diet (avoid sugar, and processed and refined foods)
- Drink plenty of water
Book a Physiotherapist Consult for a Sports-Related Injury Today
Concerned about a sports-related injury? Book an assessment with a physiotherapist today.