Physical therapy was originally intended to help surgery patients and those suffering from diseases and disorders that affect the muscle system and the skeletal system. Then someone got the bright idea that physical therapy in sports situations could easily help athletes, both amateur and professional, recover from their injuries and continue to take part in the sports they love. Over time more techniques were added for the specific types of injuries that frequently occur during athletics. The creation of prevention exercises cut down on the likelihood of reoccurrences. While sports physical therapy began on the professional and Olympic levels, it quickly caught on to included in leisure sports activities and on the high school levels. There are a variety of ways physical therapy in sports can be integrated into an athlete’s rehabilitation and recovery.
One of the most crucial examples of physical therapy in sports is on the track or playing field. Imagine the benefit of having a trained physical therapist on hand to administer to any injured athletes at the time of injury. He or she will likely have a much better idea of how to quickly treat the injury since they saw it happen. Hot or cold packs applied immediately after a sprain or strain can reduce healing time dramatically. If first aid has to wait, the damage has time to further adversely affect the athlete’s range of motion, flexibility, and strength. In recent history it has become commonplace for every organization from high school athletes to professional leagues to pay sports physical therapists to attend competitions.
Whether or not a physical therapist was on hand at the time of the injury doesn’t matter in terms of after care for a patient. Physical therapy in sports doesn’t stop on the playing field. An injured athlete will have to report to a clinic to have their injuries fully diagnosed and an effective treatment plan put into place. Techniques such as hot/cold packs, electrical stimulation, water treatments, and individualized exercise programs are often used to help heal injuries to the musculoskeletal system. Many therapists also take an additional step of providing the healing athlete with a preventative exercise plan to help stop the same injury from occurring again.
The physical therapy in sports movement made a lot of headway in a relatively short period of time. Now athletes of every level can look forward to quick, effective treatment as soon as the injury occurs and follow up treatments to make sure they are back to their favorite activities in no time. This change in the way athletes are cared for has even many people a chance to keep going, when in the past, they would have heard their final whistle.
Physical therapy in sports has changed the way athletes of every level are cared for on and off the playing field. It has also lead to increased ability even after a serious injury.