Why Sports Physical Therapy Is Important
Sports have tremendous benefits, including raising self confidence, learning to be part of a team, and boosting overall health. If you go pro, you can make an incredible amount of money from your sport. Yet whenever you push yourself to excel physically, you run the risk of injury. Fortunately, sports physical therapy can help in three important ways.
Physical therapists identify areas of poor fitness or weakness, and design targeted programs to improve functionality through exercise and hands-on manipulation. We can tailor your treatment plan to your chosen sport, helping you build the flexibility, endurance, and strength that your sport demands. We will also focus on your overall level of fitness, ensuring that an underlying condition, such as poor core strength, will not hamper your performance.
It is impossible to prevent all injuries, but you can dramatically lower your risk by ensuring that you do not have an unidentified weakness somewhere in your body and by educating yourself on how to handle the extreme forces of your preferred sport. Physical therapy ensures that you are up to date on the latest injury prevention techniques and that you are strong, flexible, and fit throughout your entire body.
Common Sports Injuries: Each person, each sport, and each injury is highly individualized. Still, some injuries are relatively common across all sports. These include, but are not limited to:
- Knee injuries
- Muscle strains
- Shin splints
- Swollen muscles
Repetitive use injuries are common in sports that require you to perform the same set of movements over and over again. Repetitive use causes biomechanical stress, putting you at risk for conditions such as tennis elbow.
Common Causes of Sports Injuries: Sports injuries have innumerable causes, but some are especially common:
- Inadequate warmup
- Lack of conditioning
- Poor training
“Weekend warriors,” who work desk jobs all week and then compete or train on the weekends, are especially at risk, as are highly competitive athletes who do not rest on a regular basis. If you are active in just one sport and do not diligently cross train, you are also at an increased risk for injuries.
We provide a comprehensive sports injury prevention training program, fully customized to your individual needs, that is designed to significantly reduce your risk of injury. If you are injured, both the damage you suffer and your recovery time are likely to be much shorter if you have been through an injury prevention program.
Post-injury, a complete sports rehabilitation program can return you to peak fitness and help you minimize your risk of reinjury in the future. There are three phases of healing: acute, subacute, and chronic.
In the acute phase, the focus is on an action plan known as PRICE (Prevention-Rest-Ice-Elevation). We will teach you to look after your injury, reducing inflammation and swelling while stimulating your healing responses and reducing the risk of further damage.
When your injury is stable, you will transition into the subacute phase. You must start moving around as soon as possible, but you are at risk for reinjuring yourself through improper use or overuse. Your physical therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan that includes both in-office and at-home stretching and strengthening exercises, along with complementary treatments such as massage, ice, or electrical stimulation. You might return to limited sports training during this phase, or you may need to wait until you heal further.
The chronic phase slowly returns you to your full pre-injury training schedule. Your injury is mostly healed, but your body needs to recover and transition back into training. We will also work on any underlying issues, such as a weak core, that may have factored into your injury.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are seeking a customized, innovative approach to physical therapy in Matawan, NJ, please contact Matawan Physical Therapy at (732) 662-4400 to schedule your initial assessment.