What is a Sports Physiotherapist or Sports Therapist?
A sports physiotherapist is a medical professional who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. They use physical techniques such as massage, heat/cold therapy, electrotherapy, dry needling, exercise programs and instructions on stretching/strengthening to help patients recover from sports-related injuries. In addition to aiding in recovery, they also give advice on how to prevent injury in the first place and get back to ‘pain free’ as fast as possible.
What does a Sports Therapist do?
Working with a sports physiotherapist can provide many benefits. By utilizing physical therapy techniques, they can help reduce pain and discomfort caused by an injury or chronic condition. They are also able to help athletes prevent injuries by providing advice on proper stretching/strengthening exercises as well as protective equipment that should be worn while playing their respective sport.
What type of Injuries do Sports Physios Treat?
Sports physiotherapists commonly treat a variety of musculoskeletal injuries, such as muscle strains, ligament sprains, tendonitis, dislocations and fractures. In addition to these types of injuries, they can provide care for chronic conditions such as arthritis and bursitis. They are also able to address issues related to posture, flexibility, strength, balance and coordination. By utilizing an individualized approach with their patients, they strive to achieve the best possible results in the shortest amount of time.
Sports physiotherapists commonly treat tendon injuries including tendinitis, tendinosis and tendon ruptures. Tendinitis is an inflammation of a tendon due to overuse or repetitive motions, while tendinosis is the weakening of a tendon due to age or degenerative conditions. Tendon rupture is a tear in one or more of the tendons that can occur due to an acute injury. Tendon injuries make up a significant proportion of issues we see, including rotator cuff injury (shoulder pain), tennis elbow (elbow pain) and plantar fasciitis (heel pain).
Common Ligament Injuries
Knee Ligament Injuries
An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury is one of the most common sports-related injuries that sports physiotherapists treat. ACL injuries typically occur when an athlete makes a sudden change in direction or stops abruptly, resulting in excessive strain to the knee joint. Symptoms may include pain and swelling, as well as instability of the knee.