Sports physiotherapy as the name implies has to do with treatment for sports injuries. The Society of Sports Therapists defines Sports Therapy as an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability. Physiotherapy in Sports is the set of methods, techniques, and performances, through which the use and application of physical agents prevent, recover and readjust a person with sport or exercise injuries at different levels. Sports therapy utilizes the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the sports participant for training, competition and where applicable.
A sports physiotherapist focuses on injuries acquired during sport, exercise, and physical activities either recreational or professional. The basic function of a sports physiotherapist is to apply treatment by physical means: electrical, thermal, mechanical, hydraulic, and manual therapeutic exercises with special techniques.
According to the Society of Sports Therapists, a Sports Therapist is a healthcare professional who has the knowledge, skills, and ability to:
- Use sports and exercise principles to optimize performance, preparation and injury prevention programmes.
- Provide the immediate care of injuries and basic life support in a recreational, and training competitive environment
- Assess, treat and, where appropriate, refer on for specialist advice and intervention.
- Provide appropriate sport and remedial massage in a sport & exercise context
A sports therapist should be skilled in advisory, on actions that help improve the conditions of an athlete, avoidance and prevention of sports injuries, and accidents, recognition & evaluation, management, treatment, referral, and rehabilitation.
Common types of sports injuries include;
- Sprains and Strains: this is one of the most common types of sports injury in any sport. It affects the joint, ligament or muscle.
- Overuse injury: this is micro-trauma to bones, joints, tendons or muscles, caused by repetitive movement and overuse.
- Muscle imbalances: this occurs when one muscle is stronger than its opposing muscle. Due to overtraining one group of muscles and under training the opposite leading to changes in flexibility and movement.
- Sciatica: this is back pain that travels down the back of the leg or to the feet. This is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated disc, or joint inflammation. Physiotherapy can be potentially effective in treating sciatica. Vivere Wellness physiotherapists are well efficient in administering treatments to handle and treat sciatica, as well as help prevent a recurrence of the injury.
- Hamstring Strain: this is a strain or a tear to the tendons or large muscles at the back of the thigh. It is a common sports injury and can be treated with physiotherapy, to reduce inflammation, normalize muscle range, strengthen knee muscle, and reduce the risk of another hamstring injury.
- Tennis or Golf elbow: this is inflammation of the elbow, which occur from overuse of the tendons in the forearm. Tennis and Golf elbow are different types of injury that both affect the elbows and can be treated with physiotherapy.
- Shoulder injury: this covers a large majority of sports injuries. The shoulder is the weakest joint of the body and subject to a great deal of force during sports activities. Shoulder pain persisting for more than two weeks should be evaluated by a sport physiotherapist.
- Patellofemoral Syndrome: this is a knee injury which can be caused by a slip or fall on the knees, swelling of the knee and muscle imbalance. Visit a sports physiotherapist if your knee is swollen or you notice any muscle imbalance.
Sports injuries differ from other injuries. Athletes normally require high-level performance, and demand placed on their body, which stresses their muscles, joints, and bones a lot. Sports physiotherapists help athletes recover from sporting injuries, and provide education and resources to prevent injury and reoccurrence of sports injury. So it is important that you visit a physiotherapy clinic as an athlete. Don’t wait till there is a sports injury.
At Vivere wellness, the first full mind and body rejuvenation center, we offer a range of sports physiotherapy services from advisory to prevention of sports injuries, treatment of sports injuries and rehabilitation. In case of an injury, we start with a comprehensive full body assessment to determine the nature and severity of an injury and also help with muscle tension, chronic pain, and hypertension. We understand your needs as an athlete, and we see to it that our services are targeted to support fitness, help reduce the demands of sport on the body, increase performance, and shorten recovery time.
At Vivere Wellness, our physiotherapists have acquired either a diploma or Certificate level in Sports physiotherapy, to gain expertise do deal efficiently with sports injuries. Our physiotherapists also have extensive experience working with all types of athletes from recreational to professional athletes, which helps them guide all athletes back to full activity.
Vivere Wellness sports physiotherapists are skilled in treating sports injuries, with cold therapy or manual therapy, specifically exercise prescription along with consistent movement patterns retraining to help balance the body in order to overcome an injury.
Our therapist may recommend spending time in a sensory deprivation tank, in a cold chamber as well as suggest using athletic taping. Our sensory deprivation tanks could potentially help with muscle tension, chronic pain, and or hypertension, and our cold chambers could help with inflammation, nerve pain, as well as provide physical and mental energy.
The athletic tape may be used to help provide support, improve alignment and stability to the surrounding joints and tissues. The tape can be used to stabilize an ankle for a soccer game, supporting the upper back for postural correction, or supporting a knee ligament strain.
LiveWell. (n.d.). Top 10 Most Common Sports Injuries. Retrieved from LiveWell: https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article/.aspx?id=591d8cf1
Roux, T. l. (n.d.). The importance of a physiotherapist in the management of sports teams. High-Performance Services: Physiotherapy. Retrieved from High-Performance Services: Physiotherapy: https://www.ac.za/media/shared/578/zp_Files/phys-the-importance-of-a-physiotherapist-in-the-management-of-sport-teams.zp40357.pdf
Russell, Z. (n.d.). What is Sports Physiotherapy? Retrieved from PhysioWorks: https://physioworks.com.au/FAQRetrieve.aspx?ID=38268
Society Of Sports Therapists. (2013, September 09 ). What is Sports Therapy? Retrieved from Society Of Sports Therapists: http://www.society-of-sports-therapists.org/index.php/public_information/what-is-sports-therapy