Sports injuries, while common, are treatable.
With more than 600 muscles in the human body, it is no wonder that athletes often find themselves sidelined with a sprain, strain, or worse. In fact, no matter the sport, it seems that “injury” is too often the name of the game. These injuries typically occur in muscles and joints that are vital to movement in everyday life, such as the shoulder, knee and ankle. If addressed incorrectly, these injuries will not heal adequately and can recur indefinitely. Physical therapy is the surest way to a safe, complete recovery. Physical therapists can address injury through:
How is identifying an injury better with a physical therapist?
Because physical therapists understand the body and its musculoskeletal system, they can identify the exact elements of the injury and the associated pain.
Once an injury is precisely identified, how can physical therapy improve healing?
With their highly specialized training, physical therapists understand the mechanics behind both the body and the injury. Equipped with this expertise, they are qualified to create a rehabilitation plan tailored to an athlete’s individual needs.
A physical therapist understands how the high-activity joints such as the shoulder, knee and ankle are used both in daily living and in athletic endeavors. These professionals can customize a plan to allow the necessary continued use of these joints and their involved muscle groups while implementing the particular type of stretches, exercises and rest that will promote recovery.
How can injury be prevented?
Physical therapists are also adept at creating prevention plans, aimed at avoiding, rather than healing, injuries. With their advanced knowledge of muscle mechanics, therapists are able to assess an individual’s risk for particular injuries and provide training for preemptive measures. Obviously, circumventing injury is preferable to suffering and recovery.
Are there any real-world examples of the benefits of physical therapy?
For example, the Phoenix Suns NBA team employed an elite physical therapy staff. Through their unique brand of therapy and their formula for injury prevention, they kept veteran Point Guard, Steve Nash, at the top of his game despite his age. Once Nash moved to another team and away from his physical therapists, he once again suffered from injuries and this two-time Suns MVP retired from the sport just 2 years after trading to the Lakers.
It is clear that physical therapy changes lives. Many people use sports as a way to release energy, socialize, and pursue personal fitness goals. Injuries negatively affect the lives of so many athletes, from the professional to the novice. Physical therapy can help everyone, regardless of skill level, to continue to enjoy an active life.