What is Sports Physiotherapy? | Physio4Life

What is Sports Physiotherapy?

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Here at Physio4Life we have Clinical Specialists in a variety of sports, such as triathlon running, cycling, swimming, rowing, rugby, tennis and skiing. This would enable you to get the best possible rehabilitation to get you out on the field, court or snow to compete at your goal event, and to provide you with long-term rehabilitation to ensure you do not get this type of injury again. The majority of our sports people are what we call weekend warriors who work and play hard who take there social sport seriously. We are here to get you guys back as quickly as humanly possible and work with a number of specialist physio’s, sports doctors, rehab therapist and biomechanical experts. Physio4Life is lucky enough to look after a number of elite professional athletes and also have the pleasure of sponsoring. See our sponsored athletes page and testimonials.

What is Sports Physiotherapy?

Brukner and Khan (2007) defined sports medicine as “medicine of exercise” and the “total medical care of the exercising individual”, and emphasized the fact that this served everyone in the community who wished to take part in activity, not just elite sportsmen and women. Sports physiotherapy is much the same, concentrating on the circumstances that may have given rise to the injury (whether it be a specific incidence or a training load error), the baseline musculoskeletal deficits and the desired endpoint. This endpoint could be anything from a 5km run to competing at the Olympics.

The most important difference between general musculoskeletal outpatient physiotherapy and Sports Physiotherapy is looking at everything involved with that persons training and working in conjunction with all parties involved (the athlete, coaches, strength and conditioning staff and management). This training analysis may encompass biomechanical, technical and strength assessment, and modifying the load or type of exercise to fit around an athlete’s injury but still continuing to work towards the desired endpoint.

Sports Injury Management

There will also be the injury management, as with all musculoskeletal injuries. The rehabilitation may be at a quicker rate within known healing times, getting that athlete to the highest level possible to allow them to compete as soon as possible. It is important to emphasis that this point may not be at the 100% mark, but at a level that allows optimum performance on that day. Rehabilitation may extend longer and to a higher level, alongside strength and conditioning training, to increase the capacity of that body-part to attenuate future load effectively and efficiently.

The area of pre-participation screening is growing in popularity and importance in the field of sports physiotherapy, as Governing bodies like the IOC have advocated its use for elite sportsmen and women in order to prevent injuries and optimize performance (See attached IOC 2009 document). However this screening is dependent on research in every sport stating what the injury rates are, what the predisposing factors to those injuries are (which may be complicated and multifaceted, with both internal and external variables) and then creating and examining “optimal” rehabilitation and prevention programs. This is where the research can lag behind. Some sports have had more direction in this optimal rehabilitation, others we have to cross-over research and ideas.

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