Sports injuries happen to everyone at one point or another. Injuries can interfere with not only an athlete’s performance, but can also result in pain and discomfort in their daily lives. This is where physiotherapy can help.
Melbourne physiotherapist, Dr. Naomi Fyffe, gave us some insight on what a physiotherapist’s role is when it comes to sports injuries.
What is a Physiotherapist?
Let’s take a look at the basics. A physiotherapist is a professional who focuses on rehabilitation, training interventions, optimal physical function, and overall physical performance. In terms of sports, a physiotherapist will promote safe physical participation and injury rehabilitation.
Physiotherapy is a safe and healthy treatment for sports injuries. Your physiotherapist will build a personalized and comprehensive treatment plan, focused not just on your injury, but your activity goals. You will see your physiotherapist for a set amount of time, several times a week, to help you gradually regain and maintain your function of the injured area. Because it is a gradual healing, the results are stable and controlled, giving you long term results.
Some physiotherapy treatments for sports injuries include:
- Massage and Stretching: Massage and stretching helps to loosen muscles and relax them, decreasing swelling and increasing mobility.
- Ultrasound: Vibrations are sent to the tissues, promoting healing.
- Strengthening Exercises: Muscles will naturally weaken from injury as well as any inactivity of an injured area. Strengthening will help repair and rebuild any lost muscle.
- Range of Motion Exercises: Range of motion exercises will improve and maintain your range of motion in the injured area.
- Workout Routines: Part of getting you back on your feet is exercising the injured area safely. Depending on the injury, the physiotherapist can build a workout routine for you that will help with your overall fitness.
- Ice Packs and Hot Packs: Ice is often a treatment used to help reduce swelling in an injured area and is often where physiotherapists begin. If the injury does not include swelling, heat can help alleviate discomfort and promote positive healing.
- Prevention: Possibly one of the most important benefits that you can get from a sports physiotherapist is help in preventing future sports injuries. A physiotherapist will be able to guide you through proper exercise and physical management based on your individual needs, taking the sport you play into consideration. You do not have to wait for an injury to see a physiotherapist, but instead can visit one before you injure yourself, preventing injury and saving yourself a lot of trouble.
Severity of Injury
There is no type of sports injury that is too severe or too mild to be treated by a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist can help you recover from any type of sports injury because the treatment plan is based on your individual needs. All sports can push an athlete to the physical limit, which can easily result in injury. Your physiotherapist will work with you as you progress, through any setbacks, and guide you to your ultimate goal of recovery.