Why Sports Physical Therapy is Crucial to Getting Back Into the Game

 

Sports-related injuries have been responsible for many athletes missing games, seasons, or even losing their careers. Whether miniscule or minute, it’s important to give your body the time and attention it needs to properly heal after sustaining an injury to get you back to doing what you love as quickly as possible. This is why sports physical therapy is crucial to getting back into the game.

What Causes Injuries?

Because sports push our bodies to the limit, and sometimes beyond, sports-related injuries are actually relatively common. Many, however, are preventable, and can be caused by a variety of factors such as:

  • Inadequate training
  • Lack of conditioning
  • Improper warmups
  • Poor hydration & diet

Physical therapy can not only get you back to peak condition following an injury, but can also teach you the proper preventative methods such as stretches, exercises, and nutritional information to keep injuries from recurring.

 

What are the Most Commonly Injured Areas?

The highly physical nature of sports can result in a multitude of injuries to just about any part of the body, but the most common that occur are:

  • Knee injuries
  • Strains & sprains
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Swollen muscles

These injuries, although common, can be quite serious if left alone, leading to long-lasting or even permanent damage. Recovering from these kinds of injuries often requires assistance from a doctor, physical therapist, or both.

 

How Does Physical Therapy Treat Injuries?

Physical therapy can help you regain strength and range of motion following an injury, and even help manage pain and prevent further complications. Physical therapists utilize a variety of treatments depending on the location and type of injury, and will take your specific situation into account before coming up with a plan. A few ways physical therapists can help recovering athletes are:

Increasing Mobility

As your body heals following an injury, its range of motion may be limited depending on the location and type of injury sustained. While problem areas often include the neck and back, you may also notice you have trouble bending a knee or rotating a shoulder. Physical therapists work to slowly increase the mobility in these areas while also taking into account the way your body moves as a whole in order to reduce the chances of future injuries.

Evaluating Flexibility

Because proper conditioning, warmups, and stretches are such a crucial part of any athlete’s training, your physical therapist may isolate key muscle groups and work to increase their flexibility. By teaching you to know your body and better preparing it for future activities, you’ll be less likely to injure yourself in the future.

Pain Tolerance

For many athletes, severe injuries can result in long-lasting aches or pains that may take months or even years to disappear, even after the affected area has healed. Learning to work through or eliminate this pain is a crucial part of physical therapy in order to get you back to your pre-injury performance levels.

Strength Training

The end goal of physical therapy is to get you back to where you were before the injury occured, or even better off. Because of the recovery time needed after an injury, some muscle groups may have deteriorated and require rehabilitation. Strength training targets these specific areas of the body that may be weaker than others, ensuring no part of your body is overcompensating for another. Learn more about strength and conditioning.

 

Physical Therapy Works For You

Although your physical therapist has the training and education necessary to help you make informed decisions about your recovery plan, communicating your individual needs and goals is important. Always remember to talk with your physical therapist about any pain you feel or concerns you might have so that you can get back on the field!

 

Ready to Get Back Into the Game?

Matawan Physical Therapy is committed to being your ultimate sports conditioning and rehabilitation center. Our dedicated staff has the education and experience necessary to help get you back on the field in no time. Call us at (732)-970-7894 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.