Athletes suffer various injuries, including ankle pains, sprains, fractures and shin splints. Physiotherapy is an effective technique that helps reduce the pain and healing time of injuries. The article below discusses how physiotherapy can be used to treat sports injuries.
Physiotherapy Interventions For Sports Injuries
There are a variety of physiotherapy techniques that can be used to manage sports injuries. These include the following:
1. Exercise Therapy
This involves stretching, balance, coordination, agility and endurance exercises. Typically, the physiotherapist will begin with mild exercise and gradually increase the intensity of the technique. The primary advantage of exercise therapy is that patients can conduct workouts on their own. For example, yoga and calf stretches can improve muscle flexibility, while lifting weights can increase muscle strength. Patients are also encouraged to try out aerobic exercises, swimming and cycling.
2. Joint Mobilisation
Joint mobilisation seeks to reduce joint pain and stiffness. It can be used to treat injuries such as knee injuries, tennis elbow and fractures. The physiotherapist will access the joint's range of movement and the type of pain a patient is experiencing. This will help determine suitable oscillations and the amount of force the physiotherapist should use to restore the functionality of the joint.
3. Aqua Therapy
Aqua therapy is a physio technique whereby the patient conducts physio exercises in water. Water provides buoyancy that supports a patient's weight, which reduces the amount of pressure the body exerts on the injury. As such, aqua therapy helps reduce pain during physiotherapy. In addition, hydrostatic pressure can help prevent soft tissue swelling in the injured athlete.
This is the insertion of thin needles at strategic points to reduce pain and swelling. It can be used to treat torn ligaments and sprains. The physiotherapist manipulates the needles or applies electrical pulses to increase the efficacy of the intervention. More often than not, acupuncture is used to complement other forms of therapy.
How to Improve the Outcome of Physio Interventions
Below are a few tips to improve the outcome of physio interventions among injured athletes:
- Therapy should be conducted by experienced sports physiotherapists who understand the history of the injury.
- Physiotherapy should be used alongside other medical interventions, such as surgery, to increase the rate of healing.
- The therapist should involve the patient in setting physio goals. Most athletes would want to be back in action in the shortest time possible. However, the therapist must encourage the athlete to be patient.
- Teammates should motivate an injured athlete by helping him or her conduct physio exercises at home.
Physiotherapy is an effective intervention in the management of sports injuries. Standard techniques include exercise therapy, joint mobilisation, aqua therapy and acupuncture.