Understanding sports physiotherapy
Sports physiotherapy is a branch of physiotherapy with the only difference being that this particular therapy uses various techniques and treatments to ensure proper mobility, healing, and other issues which affect the performance of a sportsperson or athlete. However, to say that sports physiotherapy only deals with the hurts and injuries of sportspeople will be wrong. Sports physiotherapy is also inclusive of the responsibility of developing and improving the overall performance of the concerned athlete.
For sports athletes, there is more pressure on the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and joints, thus making them more prone to injury. This makes it very essential for sports teams to have a fully dedicated team of sports physiotherapists at the disposal of the athletes.
What is the job of a sports physiotherapist?
Among the basic jobs of the physiotherapist in sports, the main job is to
- Assess the injuries and the extent of the injury through thorough body examination. This also means assessing any previous injuries as well.
- Through thorough assessment, conclude the root cause of the injury. The part in pain doesn’t need to be where injury has happened.
- Once the assessment is complete, develop a plan of treatment based on the needs and requirements of the athlete in question.
- While the treatment is on, the sports physiotherapist is also required to assess the strength of other body parts. This will help him understand if any posture improvements are needed or other improvements in mechanics and strength of the athlete are required.
- Work towards a specific timeline. An athlete cannot afford to take forever to heal. He/she needs to come back stronger and better.
- Identifying and implementing plans to minimize any further injuries.
While any physiotherapist can claim to be a sports physiotherapist, know where to look for a sports physio in Sittingbourne. A sports physio must have all the basic knowledge about the challenges faced by the athletes and must have some experience in the field of sports physiotherapy. Start your treatment only after you are satisfied with the credentials of a sports physiotherapist.
What are the major issues or injuries faced by athletes?
Most athletes are required to train rigorously for excelling in their sport. For the same, their body muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc are constantly put under pressure. This might result in over-used or exhausted body parts or injuries of some kind. Some of the major problems most commonly faced by athletes are: knee cartilage problems, shin splints, knee ligament sprains, medial ligament, tennis elbow, muscle tears, sprained ankles, knee pains, groin strains, etc.
It is the job of the sports physiotherapist to identify the extent of the problem or injury and start the process that will initiate fast and effective healing of the athlete.
Different types of assessment approaches used by the physiotherapists in sports in Sittingbourne
To get to the bottom of the problem, physiotherapists employ several assessment techniques. These techniques help the physiotherapist to assess the extent of the fitness of the body parts, or the severity of the injury sustained. Some of these techniques are:
Diagnostic Ultrasound scan, muscle length testing, strength testing through dynamometers (HHD), Force plate testing for neuromuscular performance, isokinetic testing, video analysis for assessing the running style, and many others.
Different Types of Treatments Offered by Sports Physiotherapists in Sittingbourne
Several techniques work on soft tissue injuries. All sports physiotherapists are quite adept at providing the necessary technique like myofascial release and spinal manipulation. However, the deciding factor of a sports physio in Sittingbourne should be the way the physiotherapist manages and rehabilitates an injury. For athletes, the major worry after an injury is the comeback. The best physiotherapist in sports is the one that helps strengthen and condition the muscles and body parts injured post-injury and helps the athlete come back stronger than before.
Apart from a customized soft tissue therapy and training program, there are a few other therapies that can be used in conjunction to help haste the recovery process.
- Shockwave Therapy or ESWT (Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy) – for those suffering from Achilles, Plantar Fasciitis, or proximal hamstring, shockwave therapy is known to have helped in speeding up the recovery.
- Occlusion Therapy — This therapy is useful for athletes suffering from knee problems. This therapy helps the athlete gain muscle and strength by providing minimum pressure to the knee joint.
- Ultrasound-guided injections –These injections are used to help deal with the pain in sports injuries. Sometimes, the pain limits a sportsperson’s ability to enter a rehabilitation program for the injury. In such cases, ultrasound-guided injections, consisting of steroid or hyaluronic acid, are given to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery.