Sports rehab can reduce the amount of time you spend on the sidelines due to injuries. It includes treatment of sprains, fractures and other sports injuries.
The first phase of rehabilitation focuses on controlling pain and swelling using RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation). Therapeutic modalities may be used as well.
Physical therapy is a key part of any sports rehab program. It is an essential element of injury recovery and helps restore normal function to injured body parts. Whether you’ve suffered a minor muscle strain or a serious ligament tear, our skilled sports rehabilitation therapists will guide you through a comprehensive treatment plan that is personalized to your injury.
The physical therapy component of a sports rehab program includes stretching exercises and other movement routines designed to improve the range of motion in an injured joint or muscle and increase strength. The therapist will help you balance rest and exercise so you can recover as quickly as possible from your injury.
One of the biggest differences between sports specific rehabilitation and general rehab is that athletes are able to return to their sport with improved performance, not just pain relief. Sports specific rehabilitation also works to improve the mechanics of an athlete’s game and helps them regain their competitive edge.
The first step in any successful rehabilitation program is controlling pain and inflammation (if present). This is often achieved through the use of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is followed by a phase of therapeutic exercise which can include stretching and strengthening. This phase is often augmented with the use of electrical stimulation and ultrasound modalities to promote healing.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from sports rehab. Even casual weekend warriors and people with a passion for physical activity can experience injuries that require sports therapy. Injuries such as sprains and strains can be prevented through proper stretching, cross-training between games, and maintaining a healthy diet and weight. However, injuries do happen and, if prevention methods fail, sports rehab is an excellent way to relieve pain and improve athletic performance.
The first phase of sports rehabilitation focuses on controlling pain and swelling. This is typically done through rest, ice packs and compression. A physical therapist can also use electrical stimulation and ultrasound to aid in the healing process. This is especially helpful for more severe injuries that are unable to heal on their own, such as fractures or dislocations.
Phase two of rehabilitation focuses on improving the range of motion in a joint or the flexibility of a muscle. This is done through a series of stretches that can be performed either on your own or with assistance from an athletic trainer or physical therapist. The goal of this phase is to gradually increase the amount of time that you can hold each stretch to help speed up the recovery process.
During the final stages of rehabilitation, your physical therapist will work to reintegrate your injury back into your sport or exercise routine. This may mean modifying your training with different exercises to compensate for the areas that are injured. For example, a soccer player who injures her ankle will need to do some leg strength exercises in addition to her general conditioning and team practice.
The physiotherapy portion of a sports rehab program typically includes a series of exercises designed to increase the range of motion and strength of a joint or muscle. Athletes may also be taught techniques for preventing injuries in the future. Physiotherapy is often used in combination with other types of treatment, including massage therapy and occupational therapy.
For athletes who are serious about their sport and are committed to improving their skills, a sports injury can be a major setback. While following preventive methods such as proper equipment, cross-training between games and good body mechanics can help minimize the risk of injury, injuries do happen.
Physiotherapists who specialize in sports rehabilitation have extensive education and training in treating sports-related injuries. These include sprains and strains, which are damage or tears to the ligaments or muscles respectively. The goal of a sports rehab program is to return the athlete to their pre-injury level of function and performance. The process is long and varied, and requires the help of a trained professional. The UK’s BASRaT (British Association of Sports Rehabilitators) registers physiotherapists who have completed an accredited three-year BSc honours degree and have passed an independent registration exam. These healthcare professionals are also required to maintain a current first aid qualification and adhere to strict standards regarding medical records and referrals.
Massage therapy is widely available at spas and wellness centers, but it’s also an important part of a comprehensive sports rehab program. A trained massage therapist can reduce stress levels, help muscles relax and increase circulation in injured areas. It can even reduce pain for people with chronic illnesses such as cancer or heart disease.
Sports massage is often performed as a pre-exercise routine to warm up the muscles, or as a post-exercise session after an injury. The therapist can use deep or light strokes that encourage circulation and reduce muscle soreness. This can improve the overall performance and speed up recovery from injuries.
A therapist may also perform techniques such as shiatsu, where fingers and palms are used to massage pressure points on the body that are associated with energy channels. This type of massage can help with conditions such as fibromyalgia and depression.
Back pain is a common injury for athletes, especially those who hyperextend the spine during their sport. This is often caused by overuse or trauma, and can lead to a variety of long-term conditions such as spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis. The therapist can use massage to reduce stiffness and restore proper alignment of the vertebrae. These massages are usually longer and involve the entire body, but can focus on specific areas. They can also include ayurvedic-style oil massages such as abhyanga, where the therapist uses warmed oils to gently massage the skin and lubricate it.