Insight Comprehensive Therapy – Playing sports offers many physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages, but overexertion, improper training techniques, and physical contact and collisions that are common with many athletic activities can take a toll on our bodies. Each year, about three million people are treated in emergency departments for injuries involving sports and recreational equipment, according to data from the National Safety Council. This makes sports-related injuries one of the leading causes of ER visits in the United States. Even seemingly minor injuries that do not require urgent care can lead to further complications down the road if they are not treated properly. One way athletes can take a proactive approach to maintain their health and preventing or treat injuries is through physical therapy that is specialized in sports medicine. Whether you have experienced a sports-related injury or are just interested in improving your physical strength, here is what you need to know about choosing a premier physical therapy and sports medicine specialist, as well as five benefits you can expect when working with a sports physical therapist.
How Are Premier Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Related?
Physical therapy and sports medicine are two distinct medical specialities that work together closely to help athletes improve physical fitness and prevent or recover from sports injuries. Sports medicine doctors provide comprehensive care for athletes. This includes diagnosing and treating any conditions or injuries related to athletic activities.
Sports medicine doctors are not just for professional athletes. Student-athletes or anyone who is physically active can benefit from the expertise of a sports medicine specialist. Sports medicine doctors often recommend physical therapy to their patients to boost healing, manage pain, and recondition their bodies after an injury.
Sports physical therapists focus on helping athletes prevent and manage injuries, restore function, and stay active. This includes improving strength, flexibility, coordination, and posture through hands-on care.
Education is also a big part of physical therapy, giving athletes tools and knowledge to strengthen their bodies, minimize the risk of experiencing an injury, and reduce stress and tension to maximize their performance.
5 Benefits OF Working With A Sports Physical Therapist For Athletes
Prevent Injuries In Sports
From overexertion, while competing to not using the proper techniques while training, there are many circumstances that can lead to athletic injuries. However, most injuries can be avoided by understanding your body and working with a sports physical therapist.
After evaluating your strengths and limitations, a sports physical therapist can help you develop exercises and strategies that will minimize your chances of torn ligaments, muscle injuries, broken bones, and other conditions athletes are prone to experiencing.
Improve Physical Strength
Another important aspect of injury prevention is taking steps to improve your physical strength. Most athletes only see a physical therapist after experiencing an injury or if they are in pain. However, a sports physical therapist can work with you to improve the function of your muscles so your body can withstand the physical demands of athletics.
Focusing on flexibility, strength, and balance to avoid injury, improving form, and developing techniques for training are all ways a sports physical therapist can help you optimize your sports performance.
Get Immediate & Long-Term Pain Relief
If you experience an injury while playing sports or training that is keeping you from performing at your best, finding immediate and long-lasting solutions for pain relief is a must.
A sports physical therapist will help you identify the underlying causes of your pain and develop a treatment plan to help your body heal naturally, without medication. Many people experience fast results through techniques like heat and ice therapy, dry needling, and massage. Physical therapy can be a lengthy process, but it is worth the time and commitment to see long-term results.
For athletes facing the prospect of surgery, it may be a good idea to consider physical therapy first. A common misconception is that surgery is a solution to all of your problems. However, there is never a guarantee that it will resolve your pain or address the underlying conditions you may be experiencing.
Surgery can also lead to further complications at a later point in time that you will need to consider. Sometimes surgery is unavoidable, but our bodies are designed to heal themselves and many sports-related injuries or conditions can be treated successfully by taking a natural approach.
Physical therapy is non-invasive, comes with less risk than surgery, is more cost-effective, and can help you prevent further injury. If you think you could benefit from physical therapy, don’t put off exploring your options. The earlier you seek assistance, the more options you will have for treatment.
One aspect of physical therapy that is probably most overlooked is its ability to relieve stress and help you relax. When you visit a physical therapist, you will work on soft tissue mobilization and targeted stretching techniques.
This helps with muscle relaxation and relieves tension in the neck, shoulders, back, and throughout the body. Breathing exercises are also part of physical therapy, helping to improve lung health, muscle strength, and endurance, while also allowing you to unwind and enhance your mental health.
Every athlete wants to stay healthy and reach their full potential while playing the sports they love. Whether it’s preventing injuries and improving strength or helping athletes avoid surgery, choosing a premier physical therapy and sports medicine specialist is one of the best ways to ensure your body is conditioned for peak performance.
At Insight, our physical therapists specialize in sports physical therapy and also work closely with our sports medicine doctors to provide the highest level of care for our patients. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.
Q: Do you need to be injured to see a sports physical therapist?
A: No. Physical therapy offers many benefits for preventative care, including identifying underlying conditions, addressing issues before they lead to injury, and providing exercises and techniques for better fitness.
Q: Can student-athletes benefit from physical therapy?
A: Physical therapy is one of the best ways for student-athletes to recover from sports injuries and prevent injuries from occurring in the future. Just like with adults, physical therapy can help young athletes increase flexibility and range of motion, improve performance, and manage pain.
Q: How soon should you start physical therapy for an injury?
A: Early treatment can make a significant difference in restoring your strength, mobility, and quality of life. The best way to determine if you will benefit from physical therapy after an injury is to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist for an evaluation.