Physical therapists, also referred to as PTs, assist patients of all ages and conditions in improving the functionality of the musculoskeletal system. A few of their main goals include improving movement, managing pain, and preventing injury or reinjury. For this reason, physical therapy is essential for athletes.
Let’s take a look at the role physical therapy plays in treating and preventing sports injuries.
How Does Physical Therapy Prevent Sports Injuries?
Common sports injuries include knee injuries, sprains, strains, and tennis elbow. It’s easy to believe that these occur mostly during a game or match, especially with contact sports. However, many sports injuries occur during training.
Any physical activity puts your muscles and joints under stress and pressure. You also become prone to overuse injuries, which can occur from repetitive trauma. Overuse injuries also happen when you engage in increased physical activity too quickly. Likewise, improper form and technique make you more prone to sports injuries. Physical therapy teaches you techniques and exercises that can prevent overuse injuries and sports injuries in general.
Your physical therapist can assess your needs and set a program that suits your abilities best. Physical therapy can help you strengthen your muscles and joints, so you’ll be able to take on heavier loads. It will also allow you to train longer over time.
Under your physical therapist’s guidance, your exercise program will gradually increase in activity level to build your endurance. It will also incorporate various exercises rather than focusing on one particular training technique to improve your overall strength.
It’s always best to talk to your physical therapist about what exercise or program works best for you.
Improving Range of Motion
When your body gets into positions you aren’t used to, you are at risk of injury. Range of motion is the amount of movement your joint can take. Improving your range of motion goes hand in hand with improving your overall performance. Studies show that proper warm-up and stretching warms up your muscles, increases your range of motion, and reduces the risk of sports injuries.
Certain exercises can improve your flexibility and range of motion. Depending on your strengths and limitations, your physical therapist can teach you exercises that will allow you to stretch your muscles and move your body in different ways.
How Do You Treat Sports Injuries with Physical Therapy?
Sometimes, sports injuries occur no matter the measures you take to prevent them. When they do happen, your orthopedic doctor may ask you to take it easy for a brief period. However, you will eventually be able to engage in physical activity as part of your rehabilitation. After all, an injury isn’t the end of all physical activity for you.
You should not stay completely immobile after sustaining an injury. Physical therapy is a vital component of your healing process. Early on, your doctor and therapist will teach you simple movements that can help prevent post-injury or postoperative complications, like blood clots.
In the initial stages of healing from sports injuries, physical therapy helps reduce pain and inflammation. As your condition improves, your therapist will also adjust your PT plan. Because your injury limits your movements, you may start from range of motion exercises and then move on to strengthening exercises.
In addition to exercise, physical therapists can also use other techniques to treat sports injuries. Examples of other modalities are manual therapy and hot and cold therapy.
Quality Physical Therapy in Merriam, KS
Physical therapy is helpful in both the treatment and prevention of sports injuries. It also reduces a patient’s need for medication or surgery. To optimize your recovery and prevent reinjury, you may consult the physical therapists at Midwest Orthopaedics in Merriam, Kansas.
After evaluating your condition, you can rest assured that our providers will create a personalized treatment plan for you. Call us today at (913) 362-8317 or book an appointment using our secure online form. We look forward to serving you.