Physical Therapy in Sports

Physical therapy in sports is required when a sportsperson injures any part of the body due to strenuous physical workouts. In such cases, they have to seek the help of a physical therapist.

Physical therapists?

Physical therapists are people specialize in providing physical therapy in sports for people who have succumbed to injury or who require surgery. They will work to restore a patient's to stay physically active, strength, and motion so that they can get back to work as they used to before the injury.

Sports professionals require physical therapy in the event they succumb to sport-related injuries due to which they lose the ability to use or move the injured part as they used to prior to the injury.

Need of Physical Therapist?

Not all injuries require the help of a physical therapist. However, if the nature of the sports injury is a bit serious or if it requires surgery, seeking the help of a physical therapist is the best alternative. A physical therapist will be able to guide a sports person to do the right exercise or teach them exercises that specifically target at injured muscles and help to improve their functioning, thereby decreasing the pain and discomfort caused by them. Such exercises would initially require their supervision until they are properly learnt for the patient to do them independently.

Physical therapists are people who specialize in the areas of musculoskeletal anatomy, about surgical procedures, treatment goals for injuries. After a surgery such as a ACL reconstruction, it is important to consult a physical therapist as they know best on how to help a patient cope up or overcome the limits posed by the surgery they have undergone.

Physical Therapy Exercises

Depending on the type and level of injury or problem caused by an injury or limits posed by surgery required after an injury a physical therapist will put forth certain exercises. Though the exercises suggested are based on the problem specific to the sportsperson's injury, in general, there are some exercises proposed for the patient.

Here is a look at what they are:

  • Stretching - Stretching exercises help to relieve stiffs joints and brings in the required motion into these joints. It is advised for those who have developed scar tissue after an injury or surgery.
  • Strengthening - Strengthening exercises as the name suggests help to strengthen muscles, motion and their endurance. Strengthening exercises can be in the form of Closed Chain exercises or Proprioception exercises. Close chain exercises help to balance muscle strength and weak muscles. Proprioception gives a person a sense of how a body part is moving and working and they are better able to control the position of an injured joint.
  • Ice and heat therapy - This form of therapy is used to increase blood flow in affected areas and decrease swelling.
  • Ultrasound - This therapy form helps to stimulate deep tissues in the body, warms them up and increases blood flow to these tissues.
  • Electrical Stimulation - Sport persons who are in deep pain due to an injury can take up Electrical stimulation, wherein electrical current is passed onto the affected area, by which nerve conduction in this area region is altered This also alters muscle contractility and the patient will experience diminished pain after this type of treatment.
  • Aquatic Therapy - In this form of therapy exercises are done in water to improve mobility and maintain strength. It has proved to be quite effective for people who have succumbed to sports related injuries as those who have difficulty exercising have found that the can do these exercise much better when done inside water. This is because the added buoyancy in water helps support the body, as water provides gentle resistance.

Physical therapy Benefits

Physical therapy has brought out positive results in those who have effectively followed it. The benefits of physical therapy include:

  • Increase in muscle strength and endurance
  • Increase in the rate of motions in joints
  • Reduction in pain and muscle spasms
  • Healing of soft tissue lesions
  • Reduction in problems faced while walking
  • Reduction is stress caused by improper movement in injured part and an improvement in confidence level