We often think physical therapy is for people recovering from an injury or surgery. Well, that’s not wrong. But did you know that even athletes can benefit from physical therapy?
Physical Therapies for Athletes
As athletes undergo rigorous training and sports, they often end up straining their muscles or getting injured. Physical therapy can also restore and improve an athlete’s mobility and address pain points. The critical thing to remember is to get it from professional therapists.
Let’s look at the benefits of physical therapies for athletes who have issues with pain and mobility.
When Do Athletes Need Physical Therapy?
Athletes should always seek advice from physical therapists. Here’s why.
1. Early Treatment of Injuries
Many athletes wait too long to address minor injuries. They think they can rest for a few days and go right back to their sport. However, often, just taking two or three weeks off won’t make the pain go away! They’ll only aggravate the same injury again. A specialist will help sportsmen get back in shape in no time.
This is especially important for athletes involved in sports such as soccer, rugby, races, and mixed martial arts (MMA). These types of sports can be straining for the body if athletes do not opt for routine physical therapy.
2. Treating Chronic Pain
If you’re an athlete who has had pain for more than a couple of days due to a strain or an injury during the game or training session, you need to consult a professional.
These seemingly minor symptoms can become chronic, hindering your ability to participate in sports. It’s important to get injuries treated before they become long-lasting, chronic issues.
3. Prevent Injuries
Physical therapy can prevent new injuries and stop the return of old ones. Athletes should aim to maximize their performance. Physical therapy can help them master the correct mechanisms and movements. Get personalized physical therapy to overcome pain and injuries.
The Benefits of Physical Therapy
You already know when to consult a specialist after detecting pain points. Here are seven key benefits you’ll get from physical therapy.
1. Recovering from Injuries or Surgeries
If an athlete undergoes surgery, physical therapy is a common treatment to help them recuperate after the procedure. Their body is in a fragile state and needs to be strengthened gradually.
It requires meticulous and consistent work. A physical therapist can work with sportsmen for as long as it takes to help them function normally again. It’s best to contact a local expert or a professional from The Movement Clinic to get the right treatment.
Physical therapy helps athletes get better neuromuscular control as various parts of their bodies will now work in tandem. This treatment focuses on the movements of their joints near the muscles, nerves, or tendons. With this treatment, they can steadily increase their speed and movement.
2. Avoiding Surgery
As mentioned before, physical therapy can help treat early injuries but one of the most important and useful benefits of physical therapy is that it saves players from expensive or painful surgeries. Of course, some conditions must be met. And they can’t avoid surgery without their physical therapist’s approval.
Their body needs to be in shape. The doctor may refer them to a physical therapist if they have pain in their lower back, meniscal tears, or carpal tunnel syndrome. If physical therapies can resolve such conditions, athletes can save a lot of time, money, and aggravation.
3. Reducing Pain
Physical therapy helps eliminate back, joint, and knee pain. As the COVID-19 virus became prevalent, millions of people began working from home. As a result, many of us became more sedentary and developed body pain.
This inactivity is worse for athletes. There’s no room for proper stretching or tailored exercises. Physical therapy can eliminate these chronic pains and prevent them from reappearing.
Moreover, physical therapy is an excellent alternative to addictive opioids for back pain. Daily stretches can alleviate all sorts of mild pain. Any type of sportsmen should also consider running. Running can improve both mood and health while reducing pain.
4. Improving Balance
Sports-related injuries can lead to vestibular and balance dysfunction. Unfortunately, most of these problems are left untreated and eventually result in poor performance, vertigo, or a tendency toward falling.
Lucky for players, there’s specialized vestibular physical therapy to help them get sorted. It will employ numerous exercises, techniques, and training to eliminate functional impairments.
Athletes often overextend their joints and tissues. This pressure can result in injury. Advanced physical therapy can help with such injuries. Plus, they also result in an improved range of motion.
5. Gaining a Stronger Body
Athletes often focus on one sport. As a result, they tend to dedicate their time to a particular workout routine. These exercises target specific muscles, leaving them with a mix of strong and weak muscles.
When sportspeople work on the weaker muscles off-season, they can be in severe pain. This disparity often leads to strains and sprains, which only hinder your performance.
As physical therapy utilizes a combination of cross-training exercises that affect different body areas, all muscles are developed proportionately.
Rotational load is a prerequisite for many sports, and athletes must generate and control rotational force over numerous joints. Joint torque is important to maintain this control and this can get better only with physical therapies.
6. Keeping the Pelvic Health in Check
Pelvic pain can impact anybody, even sportspeople. They often don’t know where to seek therapy from.
With help from professional therapists who focus on the musculoskeletal system, athletes can discover symptoms they hadn’t considered before. A tailored set of exercises will be prepared to address individual needs.
7. Improving Cardiac Health
A good physiotherapist will recommend certain exercises that include cardio workouts for athletes. Such a regimen would improve the cardiac and pulmonary health of the athletes, helping them better their breathing patterns.
Moreover, a good heart and pair of lungs also enable sportspeople to have better endurance during training or playing any rigorous sports. With a healthy cardiopulmonary system, athletes are more likely to have better overall health in general.
The benefits of physical therapy for athletes are long-lasting and allow them to recover in a faster and more effective way. There’s so much more to rehabilitation than surgeries or treatments. A professional player needs to assimilate to the changes, and only physical therapy can help with that.
Athletes should consult a certified physiotherapist to evaluate their body’s needs. They will help develop a personalized treatment plan for a swift recovery.
Rest is crucial for healing, but so is working the muscles. Strength training is the key to change and physical therapy is at the forefront of that. So, always choose physical therapy first!