Playing sport is a big part of many people’s lives, including here in Australia. The Australian Department of Health reports that over 90% of adults have an interest in sport, with about 13 million adults and 3 million kids participating in sporting activities each year.1
They are big numbers, so it is no wonder that our sports physiotherapists are regularly treating people, not only for sporting injuries, but to help prevent them in the first place. Sporting activities are demanding, both on your body and mind, and incorporating sports physio into your regime or sporting career provides a range of benefits.
If you are embarking on a sporting journey, or even if you have been involved for a while, don’t wait until you are injured to seek out a physio – there are many reasons to find an experienced sports physiotherapist. After all, that’s why the word ‘sports’ is in their title – they are experts at sports and the body’s performance and can offer you a lot:
1. Enhance Strength & Flexibility
Sport is tough on the body, putting strain on the joints, muscles, bones and ligaments. With their expertise in different sports and the body’s response to physical activity, physios can help you increase the strength and flexibility in your body. By focusing on particular parts of the body, a training schedule can be compiled to improve the strength and flexibility where you need it, so you can handle the level of intensity your chosen sport requires.
2. Correct and Improve Technique
Whether you swim or run, lift weights or play soccer, the correct technique is critical. Not only will good technique help prevent injuries, but it will help you run faster, jump higher and lift heavier loads.
It can be awkward trying to determine how good your technique is yourself, as even with the help of a mirror, you can’t view all the angles at once. Having a physio work with you is invaluable.
3. Training Specifically for You
Sports physiotherapists assess each person as an individual with their own unique characteristics. We are all different, and that means our exercises and training schedules should be tailored.
A physio will thoroughly assess your technique, biomechanics, range of motion, strength, balance, coordination and proprioception (the sense of self-movement, body position and action).
With this information it can be identified what would be useful to help you reach your full potential. Specific exercises or stretches to adjust your movements can result in better performance and less chance of injury.
4. Help Prevent Injury
No one likes the risk of injury that comes with playing sports. Because sports physiotherapists are trained and experienced in specific sports and the various impacts on your body, it enables them to identify the injury risks.
A physio can give you a specific set of exercises and stretches that can combat those risks. It will include a warm-up and cool-down routine to help you prepare and recover.
5. Recovery for Your Body
Your body not only needs recovery from an injury, but from your regular training sessions. A stiff and sore body can hinder your everyday movements, and sports physio can help relieve the aches. Treatment can include taping affected areas, dry needling, massage and manipulation. Decreasing stiffness and improving your mobility will help you feel better on and off the sporting ground.
Following the intense workout your body gets during a sporting match, you may find it difficult to relax. A sports physiotherapist can assist with stretching and healing your body, helping it regain your energy for the next game.
6. On-site Treatment for Acute Injuries
Sports physiotherapists are qualified to attend sporting matches and training sessions, to be on hand to assess and treat acute injuries when they occur. The advantage of this is that advice and management can begin immediately, likely reducing the severity of the injury and promoting the healing process.
Perhaps the word ‘rehab’ conjures up unpleasant feelings for you, however it is often not as daunting as you may think. A full assessment of your injury, along with any contributing factors will be carried out. The expert team at Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy uses the AxIT system and Strength Dynamometers to perform elite level strength assessments.
A detailed rehabilitation program is devised with a focus on both healing your injury, but also maintaining your fitness as much as possible. At the same time, any weaknesses in your movements that may have contributed to the injury will be addressed. These may include balance, strength etc. and you may even come out stronger than before.
Rehabilitation is likely to include a range of treatments, such as soft tissue release, joint manipulation and dry needling.
8. Maintenance for Returning to Sport
With the goal of rehab being a return to the sport you love, there are assessments that are used to determine your readiness to return to play. Testing you for speed, agility, balance, proprioception, movement, strength and more will ensure you are physically ready.
Physios can refer you to a sports psychologist who can help build your confidence and get you mentally ready as well as physically.
You want to be at your best while engaging in sports, so call or book online with Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy. The team here offers a wide range of services including spine physiotherapy, deep tissue massage, and post operative physiotherapy. They will have you in optimal shape and be there for recovery if needed. Move better and live a healthy, active lifestyle and keep playing the sport you enjoy.
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