Sports injuries can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. It is not just the physical pain but also the emotional distress that comes with it. A sports injury can be debilitating, preventing you from doing what you love.
It is important not only to recover quickly but also to ensure that the injury does not affect future performance or ability.
Physiotherapy rehabilitation treatments can help with both of these goals.
Benefits of sports injury rehabilitation with physiotherapy
There are many benefits associated with sports injury rehabilitation. The first is that it can help reduce your injury time and speed up your recovery by getting you back to normal quickly. This helps prevent further injuries from occurring in the same shoulder, knee, ankle, hip, or foot.
Sports physiotherapy sessions can also help improve strength and mobility, as well as guide you on how to move correctly again without pain or discomfort.
Physiotherapy rehabilitation allows the body to adapt and recover from the change in movement.
Preventing future injuries by analysing movement patterns and posture to ensure the body is moving correctly, without pain or mishaps.
Improving your balance, coordination, strength and stability around the injured area as part of a holistic rehabilitation program for complete recovery.
The importance of rehabilitation in sports injury
The focus on the athlete in the course of sports injury rehabilitation is to return them back to pre-injury form. This means returning to their physical function and level of sports performance.
Typically sports injury rehabilitation may involve the following:
- Decreasing pain and inflammation via hot and cold therapy
- Assessing the range of motion of the affected limb
- Assessing muscle strength
- Protection of area involved (immobilisation, bracing, or using crutches)
- Creating a rehabilitation plan with the patient based on the findings above
- Educating the patient on what to do, when, how, and why during the process. (This includes education about movement patterns involved in a specific sports injury)
Sports injury rehabilitation may take a few days or up to a few weeks depending on the type and severity of the injury.
Which therapy is used in sports rehabilitation?
Physiotherapy is used in the process of sports injury rehabilitation for two main reasons; one, to increase and restore muscle activity and function as quickly as possible, and secondly to ensure you reduce the chance of re-injury.
This can be done by gradually increasing the muscle strength via resistance training exercises or simply through functional movements that mimic those of the particular athlete’s sport. The key is to restore full functional movement and strength in order to reduce pain, swelling, and improve athletic performance.
Sports physiotherapy rehabilitation is also vital because it promotes athletes to remain active throughout the process which aids recovery, opposed to prolonged rest periods. This may include re-educating an athlete with regards to their particular sport and the emotions involved. This can include how to move, jump, tackle or shoot for example.
How can a physiotherapist help with sport-related injuries?
A good program involves exercising the injured area and stretching tight muscles, massaging sore spots, and doing exercises that prepare it to withstand stress from exercise, competition, or other situations that could cause injury in the future.
During the sports injury rehabilitation process, there are certain techniques that can be used by physiotherapists to help promote the healing process of soft tissues.
Some sports rehabilitation techniques include, but are not limited to:
- Soft or deep myofascial trigger release
- Exercise programs including strengthening and stretching
- Dry needling
- Sports massage
It is important to note that there is often no one technique that works better than the others – it may be a combination of the above and the individual’s preference or physiotherapist’s advice.
While not all of these therapies can be used in every case, some combination of two or more of them will usually help to speed up and improve recovery time and overall physical function.
Physiotherapy rehabilitation treatments can rehabilitate the injury so it doesn’t impact future performances and reduce the recurrence of further injury.
At Australian Sports Physio, we want our patients to be active participants in their recovery. We provide them with the education for self-management of their injury as well as how they can avoid future injuries through lifestyle changes and improved movement patterns.
Our goal is to reduce your pain and discomfort while restoring movement so you can get back out there and play!