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Sports Physiotherapy

Questions

What is Sports Physiotherapy?

Sports physiotherapy is a branch of physical therapy that is geared towards both athletes and casual players who have suffered an injury or on-going problem. Sports physiotherapy is a specialized form of physiotherapy which is designed to help with injuries or conditions occurred during sports activities. The modalities include hands-on treatment and rehabilitation. Whether you’re a professional athlete or in the beginning of your athletic journey, sports physiotherapy can be a suitable treatment form for you.

Sport activities, whether professional or otherwise, can cause muscle strain or even serious injuries. If these problems are not given proper medical attention and treatment, they can worsen. However, these unwanted injuries can now be alleviated and prevented from happening again through the application of sports physiotherapy. You can maximize your performance and prevent future injuries through various techniques and exercises. Sports physiotherapy is meant to help you get back on track as soon as possible in a safe, secure and effective way. The treated conditions through sports physiotherapy differ from nerve, ligament or muscle injuries to other musculoskeletal disorders.

The Key Areas of Sports Physiotherapy Include:

·        Examining and diagnosing injuries

·        Identifying the cause of an injury

·        Designing an individual treatment plan

·        Rehabilitation

·        Performance enhancement

How does it Work?

Sports injuries are high performance injuries which require utmost care. A Sports physiotherapist works closely with the athlete/ team to identify the requirements of a particular sport and bring out the best result post injury in performance. For instance, if a midfield footballer injures his ankle while playing football and goes through the rehab. He is given specialized rehab exercises to be able to run, cut directions and manipulate the ball like before the injury as per his sport. Depending on the sport a customized rehab program is designed to assist the athlete back to the sport. If it’s a cricket injury like hypertension in a fast bowler, then the bowler is guided to exercises which prevent hyperextension or stabilize the spine and assist in his return to cricket

Sports physiotherapy can in fact provide the various treatment modalities. The treatment approaches towards back pain and neck pain in regular patients will be dealt with various treatment techniques used in sports therapy and mainly on movement rehabilitation. For instance, Running has been taken up by many regular individuals for fitness, but they struggle with injuries due to lack of guidance/knowledge.

Conditions / Sports injuries treated in Sports Physiotherapy

·        Muscle Strain: Muscle strain or pulled muscle is one of the most common sports injuries, that often takes place when a muscle is overstretched and tears. Muscle strains mainly affect the quadriceps, calves, quadriceps, groin, lower back and the shoulder.

·        Torn ACL: ACL or anterior cruciate ligament helps in keeping the knee joints together and brings stability. A Torn ACL is extremely painful and restricts the ability to walk. The injury takes place from a direct shot to the knees, or from incorrect landing and or stopping and changing direction quickly.

·        Torn MCL:  It is another form of knee injury, which takes place when the medial collateral ligament that connects the femur to the tibia is injured. It is caused when the knees are pushed sideways. This form of knee injury can be treated with help of ice compression, braces and sports physical therapy sessions under the watchful eyes of a sports physio.

·        Shin Splits: It affects the insides of the lower leg or shin area and is an overuse injury and also a common injury found among runners. Athletes having flat feet are more susceptible to this form of injury.

·        Stress Fracture: Stress fractures are also a form of overuse injury. It takes place when the muscles are no longer able to absorb the pressure, thus resulting in a fracture. Stress fractures usually effects the lower legs and feet and women athletes are more prone to such injury than men.

·        Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot. Putting too much strain and stress are the major reason behind this form of injury and is usually treated with rest, ice, non-steroids anti – inflammatory drugs and stretching exercises.

·        Sprained Ankle:  Ankle sprains take place when the ligament that supports the joint gets overstretched due to incorrect stepping or stepping on an uneven surface or due to twists and rolls. Usually ankle strains heal with RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation.

·        Tennis Elbow: Tennis elbow is also an overuse injury that affects the tendons located on the outside of the elbows. Racket players and cricketers are more prone to this type of injury.

·        Achilles tendonitis: Achilles tendonitis is the inflammation of the lower back of the leg just above the heel. Physical activity worsens the pain and is usually treated with some rest, ice, stretching and anti – inflammatory medicine, followed by sports physical therapy.

Besides the above mentioned sports injuries there are still several injuries that have not been discussed like Concussion, Lower back injury, Runner’s Knee and Hip Bursitis among others. More or less sport injuries treatment involves sports physical therapy along with proper medication to bring relief to the athletes. In fact physiotherapy in sports injury has proven to be quite useful in the rapid recovery of the athletes and is one of the most trusted forms of treatment

Who will benefit?

Most of the physiotherapy centers do offer help   in tacking different cardiopulmonary issues.  They do work on ways to improve breathing and endurance levels of athletes that enable them perform their day to day activities in a better way. Most of the sports therapists do offer benefits when it comes to spinal cord injury treatment, several sclerosis, neurological disorders, etc. Sports physiotherapists do have the right equipment and knowledge to help in addressing persistent, severe and overuse injuries. They do play an important role in any sports person performance and health.

Depending on the kind of injury, it takes a number of weeks or months for one to recover completely. Physiotherapist helps one with gentle exercises that stimulates the tissues and muscles of the injury for the restoration of complete physical movement prior to the injury level. The physiotherapists gradually introduce various stretching and strengthening exercises with reduction of pain. Sports physiotherapists offer customized recovery program as per the type of injury, so as to better facilitate the entire recovery process.