What is sports therapy?
If you’ve suffered an injury or had surgery or been held back in your sports or training then sports therapy will be ideal for you. Sports therapy is used when you suffer a setback due to (mainly muscular) issues. Sports therapy is much like rehabilitation that you might have been offered after an accident or surgery.
The main aim of sports therapy is to give you back your full function and movement following injury so that you can get back to peak fitness or simply continue enjoying your life, including sports and exercise.
Sports therapy does this by working on restoring muscle strength, endurance, power, and improving flexibility. Therefore it’s nearly always a course of treatments rather than a one-off session.
How does sports therapy work?
Sports therapy starts by carefully selecting and planning various exercises and massage techniques based on the specific injury or problem with the body.
A plan is created to suit the person and their specific needs.
This means it takes someone with a high level of expertise and understanding of sports therapy and anatomy and physiology to diagnose the problem and create your plan.
Exercise is a really important part of sports therapy. Following any injury, the continual, correct movement, will improve recovery and often improve the recovery time, too. It’s really important to understand that injuries will improve and heal more successfully if an exercise plan is followed. That said, every person responds differently to treatments and healing times will vary from person to person.
The biggest thing to remember here is that prevention is better than cure. A good, well thought out exercise plan based on your individual needs will keep those injuries at bay. Correct stretching, building up to big events, and building up your strength are all measures you need to put in place to prevent injuries in the first place – which is the ideal scenario!
How soon after injury should you have sports therapy?
Rehabilitation exercises should begin as soon as possible after the acute phase which is typically 72 hours.
Exercises should be pain-free with a few rare exceptions. There are different stages within rehabilitation that are important to stick to if the goal of returning to normal daily life or pain-free sport is to be achieved.
As always, this comes down to the individual case and a sports therapist will always work with a person and their injury case-by-case.
There are 3 stages of rehabilitation that you’ll come across:
1. Early stage rehabilitation
Gentle exercise allowing for the damaged tissue to heal.
2. Mid stage rehabilitation
progressive loading to the muscles, tendons, bones or ligaments. This develops tensile strength, producing a healed tissue that will be able to withstand the stresses and strains of everyday life and exercise.
3. Late stage rehabilitation
Functional exercises to stress the new tissues to ensure the body is ready for pain-free daily movement and exercise.
Combining sports massage and rehabilitation
Combining sports massage and rehabilitation following an injury is a fantastic way to get back to fitness quickly and to prevent further injuries from happening.
Our sports therapists can put together a personalised plan for you to complete either on your own or with them one-on-one.
What are the benefits of sports therapy?
Exercise rehabilitation has many benefits.
Clearly the main one is getting you back on your feet and back to full fitness, living a normal life, or a more sporty one, as quickly as possible whilst working with your capabilities.
But sports therapy goes beyond the injury you have at the time and done well can actually prevent future problems, leading to better and safer sports and exercise.
The main benefits of sports therapy are:
Restoring muscle strength
Helping with proprioception & balance
Restoring muscle endurance & power
Carrying out functional exercises
Preventing future injury
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