What is Sports Physiotherapy?
Sports participation forms an integral part of many cultures around the world. In many instances, such as the one-eyed football fans of Melbourne, the sport itself serves to unite people, bringing those who share the same love and passion for a sport together, and in so doing promotes participation, community interaction, exercise, and fun.
The unfortunate reality is that this participation can be associated with injury and that some sports are more "harmful" than others. While the injury associated with contact sports such as football and rugby are clear, many other sports can be associated with an injury. These can arise from a number of factors including technique or training errors, too much too soon, or via acute incidents such as crashing when riding, or tripping when running.
Sports physiotherapy aims to not only prevent these injuries from happening, but to promote faster healing, and prevent recurrence to get people back to doing what they love sooner.
Wondering what else Sports Physiotherapy can offer you, here are three key areas we can help with?
1. Improved Flexibility
Flexibility has been a long-term staple of training programs, but recent evidence has shown it to not be the panacea of injury prevention we once thought it to be. However, there are many instances where optimization of a range of motion, and flexibility can promote not only improve performance, but also injury risk. While sports like gymnastics require flexibility, many other sports like swimming, running and weightlifting also benefit from an improved range of motion.
The role of flexibility is often under-recognized in strength and power sports, and research has often been misapplied to suggest that stretching can have an overall negative effect on explosive performance, however one only needs to look at the extremes of movement required, by exceptionally powerful athletes, in weightlifting to see its importance.
Take a look at the image of Dimitri Klokov below as a perfect example of the importance of optimized mobility - (try doing this with a broom handle and see how you go):
2. Improved Strength
Strong things break less! Simple. There are a multitude of studies that have shown what most athletes and coaches have known to be true, which is that stronger and more powerful athletes on the whole perform better and are less prone to injury. Not only that, in instances where individuals are injured, stronger athletes often have a faster recovery.
The challenge that athletes and coaches face is how, and when to structure strength and power training. The classic example of the issue this presents is how to schedule lower limb strength training in running athletes such as soccer, football, and netball athletes without affecting performance at training and on game day.
As professionals in both Sports Physiotherapy and Strength and Conditioning, we can help you tailor a program that is right for you.
3. Load Management
While the human body is built to be able to recover from physical stress it undergoes, it does have its limitations. Failure to recognize and manage changes in workload and recovery can be a major source of injury to muscle, tendon, bone and joints. Accurate planning, management and monitoring of training and recovery strategies are be a major factor in preventing injuries before they occur and optimizing recovery when they do.
The aim of effective treatment is not only to promote recovery of the affected area but to also identify and address actors that may have contributed to injury development, promote athlete understanding of how to prevent recurrence and to work harden the affected area.
Many systems are available to help athletes track their workload and can vary from a simple spreadsheet to a detailed strength, power, GPS and athlete metric monitoring systems. If you need help to understand how best to track and monitor your work rate and recovery, message us or book an appointment line.
There are multitude of services that can be offered under the umbrella of sports physiotherapy, improving flexibility, strength and load management are only three, if you are a serious athlete or just want to looked after like you are one we can help. For the month of April, we are offering free telehealth consultations on Fridays so if you have any questions, please simply drop us an email or book online.
Form + Function Physiotherapy provides Sports Physiotherapy and Strength and Conditioning services in Richmond, Victoria.