What is a Sports Injury Therapist?
A Sports Injury Therapist is a health practitioner who has a qualification in the treatment of sports injuries. It is a generic term that incorporates both Sports Therapists and Sports Rehabilitators. Unlike most professions the title ” Sports Therapist” is no protected. Due to this it is always advisable to look into what qualifications the individual has. If the practitioner has GSR ( Graduate Sports Rehabilitator) or GST (Graduate Sports Therapist) after their name, then they must have a minimum of a 3 year Degree. The degrees are specific to musculoskeletal focusing on aiding the recovery of sports injuries. It will involve modules such as clinical anatomy, bio mechanics, motor control and learning, aetiology and pathology of sports injuries, clinical reasoning and advanced assessment of the spine.
What does Sports Injury Therapy involve?
Sports Injury therapists work with patients to assess, diagnose and treat injuries. They will work alongside the patient to understand the requirements of their chosen sport and integrate this into their detailed treatment protocol. Sports injury therapists will work holistically looking at the patients lifestyle and social history and to enable a high level of adherence to the treatment plan. This is done through a holistic approach to treatment which looks at the patient’s lifestyle and goals, and engages the patient to input into their own treatment.
The Sports Therapist will spend time taking a detailed history of your present complaint along with a full medical history. This information is essential for the practitioner to form an initial impression of what the issue and cause could be. They will then ask you to do specific movements and carry out specific clinical tests to confirm their diagnosis.
What if it isn’t a sports injury?
It makes no difference whether your injury is sustained in sport or not. Everyone has something they enjoy doing whether it be playing rugby or sitting quietly reading a book. All of these activities will require a treatment that takes your chosen activity into consideration. Sports Injury therapists are equipped to help with a wide variety of problems including sports injuries (damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage), back and neck pain, orthopaedic conditions (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis) post surgical rehabilitation (ligament repair, knee and hip replacements), shoulder problems (frozen shoulder, instability), and postural issues, plus a range of other problems.
What Techniques will be used?
Sports Injury Therapy tends to focus on blending the use of exercise prescription and manual therapy to reduce pain and increase function. These techniques used can include but are not limited to:
- Soft tissue massage
- Joint mobilisations
- Dry needling
- Exercise prescription
- End stage rehabilitation exercises
- Soft tissue mobilisations
- Spinal manipulation