Sports physiotherapy is a form of physical therapy centered on the health and well being of athletes. More than massage, physical therapy for sports involves teaching how to prevent injuries, as well as offering first aid to sports related injuries.
What type person may need sports physiotherapy? Both the athlete and casual player will find it a valuable. People of all ages and walks of life make use of the services. Accidents can happen to anyone participating in any type of activities, including tennis, jogging, or even walking. This is why teaching prevention is so important in sports physiotherapy. Health professionals teach patients, or clients, the warm up and stretch routines that are considered safe to use before exercise. These habits help keep muscles from stiffening and feeling sore while helping circulation and reparatory systems. All of which aid in fewer injuries and hospital visits.
Injuries to the knee, legs, tendons, ligaments, back, wrist and elbow are some of the areas attended to in sports physiotherapy. A sports therapist is trained to diagnose the problem and offer appropriate treatments for a quicker and safe recovery. The various types of treatments include massaging the injury, joint mobilization, manipulation, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, taping, ultrasound, aromatherapy, reflexology, acupuncture and acupressure, the use of heat, restorative exercises, and hydrotherapy.
Manipulation is used in sports physiotherapy to reduce pain and to restore joint movement. It is done by a qualified heath care professional by applying a small, controlled, quick thrust technique to a restricted joint. Moving the joint through a range of motions meant to free the joint carries out mobilization. How aggressive this is done depend on the severity of the joint restriction.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS, uses mild electrical currents placed on the skin over intended areas to act as a non-evasive means to pain control. It aids in releasing endorphins and by blocking pain messages from reaching the brain.
Taping techniques play a very important role under first aid in sports physiotherapy. Taping, or bandaging, helps to relieve pain for parts such as a bruised heal, a sore knee, and a sprained ankle. Taping also helps things like bunions, protecting from blisters, aiding shin splints, and kneecap injuries, or problems.
Since more people and health care professionals are finding good results in what was once considered New Age medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology and aromatherapy are becoming more popular forms of physical therapy.
Sports physiotherapy is meant to keep athletes moving, whether used to learn about prevention, or to recover from a mild to serious injury.