Sports Physiotherapy is a specialty area of physiotherapy that deals with sports related injuries and issues with sports athletes.
Sports injuries differ from the usual everyday physical injuries. Athletes put tremendous level of physical demand on their bodies that’s required in sports. Sports Physiotherapy helps athletes recover from physical stress, strain and injury.
Common sports injuries
- Concussion – caused by severe head injury where the brain moves violently within the skull so that brain cells all fire at once, much like a seizure
- Muscle cramps – a sudden tight, intense pain caused by a muscle locked in spasm. Muscle cramps are also recognized as an involuntary and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax
- ACL sprains – The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a ligament involved in knee stabilization. An ACL rupture can occur when the foot is planted and the knee twists to change direction.
- ACL tears – The anterior cruciate ligament; one of four major knee ligament necessary for comfortable knee movement, tears, causing major pain and causes the knee to “give out”. The knee ACL can tear for a number of reasons.
- Ankle sprain – The ligaments that hold the ankle bones in place can easily be overstretched.
- Shin splints – The tissue that attaches the muscles of the lower leg to the shin bone may be pulling away from the bone, or it may be inflamed from overuse.
- Muscle strains – tears in muscle that cause pain and or loss of function
- Shoulder sprains and strains.
Sport Physiotherapists are specialist physicians who have completed medical school, appropriate residency training and then specialize further in sports medicine or ‘sports and exercise medicine’.
Specializing in the treatment of athletes and other physically active individuals, sport Physiotherapists have extensive education in musculoskeletal medicine, and are qualified to treat injuries such as muscle, ligament, and tendon and bone problems. Sport Physiotherapists also advise on managing and preventing injuries.
Sport Physiotherapists diagnose and treat any medical conditions which regular exercisers or sports persons encounter. The majority of a sports physiotherapist’s time is therefore spent treating musculoskeletal injuries, however other conditions include sports cardiology issues, unexplained under-performance syndrome, exercise-induced asthma, screening for cardiac abnormalities and diabetes in sports.
In addition, physiotherapists working in elite sports often play a role in performance medicine, whereby an athletes’ physiology is monitored, and aberrations corrected, in order to achieve peak physical performance.
Sport Physiotherapists also deliver clinical physical activity interventions, negating the burden of disease directly attributable to physical inactivity and the compelling evidence for the effectiveness of exercise in the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of disease.