What is Sports Physiotherapy?
Sports physiotherapy is a specialized field of physiotherapy focusing on assisting athletes and sports players of any level overcome pain or injury. From recreational sports players, right up to the elite athlete - sports physiotherapy can be quite beneficial in injury management, recovery and prevention..
A good sports physiotherapy will assist an athlete in;
Advice and education for injury prevention
help the athlete develop strength and skills to perform at their full potential.
Sports physiotherapists will usually work in a private practice or will be aligned to a professional team. A sports physio will have a minimum education of a 4 years Bachelors degree, with many going on to do a 2 years Masters degree specializing in sports physiotherapy.
These are the Top 10 sports injuries
Sports Physiotherapy can be beneficial for sports players of all kinds from weekend warriors to the elite athlete. Here are the most common injuries and issues sports physios treat;
Sports and activities that sports physios treat:
What you can expect from a Sports Physiotherapist
You can expect your sports physiotherapist to address your concern promptly and professionally. It is our job to understand your history, injuries and weaknesses as well as your future goals and aspirations for your sporting endeavor.
Sports Physiotherapy Assessment:
The assessment process will look different depending on the level of sport you are playing. For most people like you, it will be similar to a regular physiotherapy session. You will sit down with our Sports Physiotherapist and discuss the history of your injury or concern. Your physio will then do a thorough examination of your movement and any other special testing that they think is relevant. A specialised sports physiotherapist may want to also test you in your sport as well, for example; if you are a golfer, they may want to watch you swing the club to identify anything that may be causing the injury.
If you’re lucky enough to be part of an elite sporting organisation then the sports physiotherapist will usually be part of the team or organisation. They will go through a similar process of assessment initially but from then on you will normally form a closer relationship where you interact with the physiotherapist on a regular basis. This will help them understand your body and any injuries that need addressing. In elite sports there will always be a huge focus on injury prevention strategies.
Treatment methods of a Sports Physio
Once we have enough information following the initial appointment then our sports physiotherapist can begin to formulate a plan for treatment.
In most cases, treatment will consist of a number of sessions over a few week period to help you get back to the sport you love as soon as possible. Our physiotherapists will use manual techniques, massage, taping, and exercise as treatment for sporting injuries.
The biggest component to treatment will be a focus on prevention and educating you as a patient on how best to take care of yourself to avoid further injury.
Avoid common sports injuries with these prevention techniques
Goals/outcomes of a Sports Physiotherapist
The goal of a sports physiotherapist is to get you back doing what you love as soon as possible. Treatment should help speed up that process as well as give you techniques to try and avoid any further injuries.
We know how frustrating it is to be on the sidelines for weeks and weeks. We will do our best to work with you and achieve your goals and get you back playing the sport you love.
Frequently asked questions…
Will sports physiotherapy get me back to my sport quicker?
The goal of sports physiotherapy is to help you return to sports as soon as possible. A physiotherapist will use their skills to reduce your pain and improve your movement quickly and then devise a specific exercise program to build strength and stability. The aim of treatment is to speed up the recovery process as well as reducing the likelihood of re-injury! If you are compliant and focused on doing your exercises then yes, sports physiotherapy should reduce the recovery time of your injury.
What is the difference between a regular physiotherapist and a sports physiotherapist?
Sports physiotherapy is quite similar to regular physiotherapy and you will find a lot of physiotherapists who have a Bachelor's degree in physiotherapy will treat sporting injuries. A sports physiotherapist will usually have further training and experience in sports physiotherapy giving them a better understanding of sports injuries.
What are the stages of rehabilitation in sports injuries?
In an acute injury, there are 5 stages of rehabilitation that must be followed
Do sports physiotherapists give massages?
Whilst massage is a technique that physiotherapists will commonly use, it certainly isn’t all they do. Massage can be useful to reduce muscle tension and over-activity and a sports physiotherapist will determine when it is necessary to use massage within treatment. This will be in combination with other treatment techniques, as well as advice and education for the condition required.
Do I need a referral to see a sports physiotherapist?
Whilst you may consult your GP prior to treatment from a sports physiotherapist, you do not actually need a referral. You can just call your local sports physiotherapist and make an appointment with them directly. It is recommended that your GP and physiotherapist communicate about your care and ongoing treatment.
People also ask…
How much does Sports Physiotherapy cost?
For the recreational athlete, the fees for sports physiotherapy will be similar to that of a regular physiotherapist. You may expect to pay more though if you are being treated by a titled Sports Physiotherapist who has completed their Masters Degree.
In the elite sports world, teams and organisations will usually have a full-time sports physiotherapist working for them.
Does health insurance cover Sports Physiotherapy?
Yes, sports physiotherapy is covered by health insurance. It will be covered under the same policy as a regular physiotherapist. It is important to check with your health insurer if you are covered for physiotherapy and what the level of cover is. Physiotherapy practices usually will have HICAPS terminals available so you can claim your rebate on the spot, avoiding paying the full fee upfront.