Whatever professional sport you like to watch – whether it’s tennis, football, cricket, or netball, you’ll likely have noticed a physiotherapist standing on the side-lines ready to leap into action. Whenever a player cramps up, sprains a muscle, or has an awkward fall/collision, a physio is on hand to assess the damage, administer advice and help to ease the pain and discomfort.
Sports Physiotherapists play an integral role in the professional sporting world, rehabilitating injured athletes and helping to prevent injuries in the first place. While you may not be a professional athlete, your body is still subject to the same strains and pressures as the pros when you play sport – so shouldn’t you have a physio in your life too?
Below we’ll look at two of the most important ways a physio can help you if you play sports.
1. Recovery from Injury and Pain Relief
At a minimum, physiotherapists complete a four-year university degree to become experts at understanding how joints, muscles, nerves and bones interact within the human body. This specialised training allows physios to pinpoint the cause of pain within each patient, to treat that pain and, to prescribe a plan to restore as much functionality to the patient as possible. Not only that, but physiotherapists are trained to think outside the box; allowing them to identify the cause of injuries, and work towards preventing them.
Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to help relieve pain and discomfort including:
- Hands on mobilisation and manipulation
- Deep and soft tissue massage
- Taping and bracing
- Dry Needling
- Exercise prescription and education
Your physio can also advise you how best to manage the injury to avoid further pain/inflammation.
2. Reduce Injury Risk
While many people will consult a sports physio AFTER they suffer an injury, in fact the best time to see a sports physio is when you’re still 100 percent fit and injury-free! That’s because sports physios can help you to avoid injury in the first place.
How so? When you see a physio, they’ll conduct a thorough assessment and as part of this process they can:
- Identify areas of irritation and dysfunction
- Help you overcome areas of weakness, by providing you with strengthening and flexibility exercises specific to your needs
- Advise you on an appropriate work-out plan to best complement your strength, gait, and the types of sports you play.
Often people get injured playing sports because they fail to recognise their limitations and push their body beyond its capabilities. As physios we can help you understand where your body is at and advise you on how to overcome specific limitations, thus reducing injury risks AND improving overall performance.
If you’ve had minor sports injuries before, you may be under the impression that all a sport injury means is a couple of weeks sitting on the bench. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
As much as possible, see your medical professional regularly – they might notice something that could prevent an injury from happening in future sessions and competitions alike!
About 36,000 Australians are sent to the hospital every year as a result of a sporting injury. Some sports injuries can result in permanent weakness in joints or tendons, meaning a greater susceptibility to re-injury, and even significant loss of functionality.
Don’t wait to get injured before seeing a physio.
For class-leading health care, contact Australian Sports Physiotherapy today.