What Is a Sports Physiotherapist?

Sports physiotherapy is a subspecialty of musculoskeletal physiotherapy which focuses on injuries and diseases affecting athletes. A sports physiotherapist is a physiotherapist who has specialized in sports. While there’s no additional formal education required to become a sports physiotherapist, these professionals often possess various special talents which distinguish them from typical musculoskeletal physiotherapists.

Sports injuries are distinct from other types of injuries. Athletes often expect a greater degree of performance and demands from their bodies, putting strains on their muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and bones.

These therapists begin by examining the source and degree of your injury, then building a treatment plan to relieve your pain and assist with returning to your pre-injury state. Once the plan is devised, they will establish a regular visit schedule for you and offer you specific at-home workouts to help with rehabilitation.

Types of Sports Injuries Treated

A sports physiotherapist will treat injuries sustained while engaging in almost any kind of physical activity (regardless of intensity) that’s either painful or debilitating enough to keep you out of the game.

To be precise, the following are some common injuries a sports physiotherapist treats:

  • Strain/soreness in the low back
  • Rotator cuff and shoulder
  • Sprains of the ACL and knee ligaments
  • Meniscus tears
  • Runner’s and jumper’s knee
  • Groin strain
  • Sprains/instability in the ankle
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Other sprains or strains

Treatment Methods

In sports physiotherapy, common treatment methods include one (or more) of the following:

  • Exercises and training tailored to specific sports/activities
  • Taping and bracing (athletic and kinesiotaping)
  • Protective pads customization
  • Manipulative and manual treatment
  • Reconditioning of muscles
  • Training with proprioception
  • Education in movement
  • Acupuncture / intramuscular stimulation / dry needling

When To See a Sports Physiotherapist

Sports Physiotherapy Fraserlife Willowbrook PhysioYou may be wondering whether your injury is significant enough to warrant treatment by a sports physiotherapist. While the damage you experienced may be able to heal on its own over time, there’s almost always another explanation for it that requires professional attention. Even if you think the damage is slight, the probability of recurrence is fairly high, and it may occur again – except each time, it may be much worse and more painful. The sooner you treat the problem’s main source, the more effective your recovery will be.

Skills of Sport Physiotherapists

Sports physiotherapists should have sports-specific or applicable expertise plus be competent to treat a wide variety of sports-related ailments. Their services must consider the variations in male and female athletes, younger and older athletes, and athletes participating in sports at various levels of competitiveness.

A sports physiotherapist must possess a variety of abilities in order to do diagnostic, manual treatment and exercise rehabilitation. These will include sports first aid/trauma treatment, taping and massage, and also the ability to make quick choices and function within a sports medicine team.

Athletes’ unique mental and physical characteristics need a distinct approach to evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation compared to similar injuries in the general population. They must provide support and communicate effectively with a variety of individuals who surround each athlete including coaches, managers, strength and conditioning coaches, and sports and exercise scientists. Additionally, this sports medicine team they must speak with can include doctors, orthopedic experts, nutritionists, podiatrists and psychologists.

Fraser Life offers the best sports physiotherapy treatment in the Langley area. Visit us online or call us at (778) 278-4755 today.