Using Sports Physical Therapy to Achieve Your Full Potential
Most people who engage in athletic pursuits will injure themselves at some point, but when those injuries are serious and cause prolonged health problems, sports physical therapy may be needed. What is sports physical therapy? It is a powerful branch of physical medicine that focuses on the various types of injuries commonly associated with athletics. While general practitioners are qualified to treat most sports injuries, more severe injuries often require the expertise of a specialist. This guide will explain the basics of how you can be restored to your full physical potential with sports therapy rehab.
Causes of Sports Injuries
Sports medicine helps individuals achieve their full physical potential by first analyzing the cause and nature of the injury. Sports injuries can be hard to properly diagnose, and what may seem like a simple fracture or sprain at first can turn out to be far more complex. Sports therapy facilities have the equipment and the highly trained staff necessary to deal with these injuries. Many modern Americans lead sedentary lives, so sports are one of the most common causes of serious physical injury. Jumping, running, swimming, and lifting heavy weights can all impose undue strain on the body, so overexertion by an individual who is out of shape can result in an injury. Due to the nature of the physical movements that accompany athletic activities, certain parts of the body are more prone to sports injuries than others.
Common Types of Injuries that Require Sports Therapy
The legs are the body parts most likely to be injured while playing sports, particularly the joints and ligaments. The knees are relatively fragile, and a good hit the wrong way can easily destroy the cartilage that cushions your knee joint. Damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is another common sports injury, especially in contact sports such as football and hockey. Both ACL and knee injuries commonly occur when an athlete lands on one leg with enough force to twist or bend the joints and ligaments.
Other common sports injuries include concussions, Achilles tendon tears, and both compound and simple fractures. Although not technically considered a sports injury, osteoarthritis is a painful condition that causes swelling and stiffness in the joints. It is caused not only by calcium deficiency but also by frequent impacts on the joints. Physical activities that involve repeated impact for prolonged periods of time, such as marathon running, commonly lead to the development of osteoarthritis.
Sports Physical Therapy Treatment Options
A variety of options are available to you when it comes to getting treatment for your sports-related injury, but the best treatment to restore you to your full physical potential depends on the type of injury you have. From hydrotherapy to yoga, your specialist will work with you to devise a treatment plan that minimizes physical stress and facilitates recovery. The process of regaining your strength may be long and difficult, but sports medicine is fortunately one of the most exciting frontiers in medical research. Researchers are constantly devising new treatment methods that can be used, utilizing the latest technologies and medical techniques to restore injured athletes to full physical potential and health. If your injury is very serious, you may want to consider inpatient rehab instead of outpatient care.
Sports Physical Therapy Option: Hydrotherapy
Many treatment options are available to you if you have a sports-related injury. However, the most appropriate therapy for regaining your full strength will depend on the nature of your injury. Hydrotherapy is a particularly powerful sports physical therapy treatment for joint injuries. These injuries often render you incapable of engaging in even the mildest exercise that requires putting pressure on the joints. Even such simple tasks as walking or standing for a few minutes can be excruciating. Hydrotherapy allows you to exercise your limbs in a zero-pressure environment and speeding the healing process.
General Physical Therapy
Physical therapists are trained in human anatomy, movement, and pain management techniques that can help you get back to the game faster. They often specialize in specific parts of the body, such as the hands or joints. If you have a specific injury, it may be in your best interest to choose one of these sports physical therapy specialists, as you could benefit from the therapists’ specific expertise. However, if you require therapy for an injury or condition that affects one or more areas of your body, a general physical therapist is probably your best option. Many physical therapists focus on sports therapy, and they may even have a degree in treating sports-related injuries. Consider this and other factors when choosing the best physical therapist. These professionals tend to work holistically, pulling elements from different branches of sports physical therapy to create a treatment plan that works for your specific situation and for an accelerated rehabilitation. If you are interested in getting care from a physiotherapist, read our guide on how to maximize coverage for physical therapy insurance.