Accidents and injuries are inevitable in sports. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, any physical activity carries its own set of risks. The high that comes from breaking a personal record can be easily wiped out by the pain that comes with a devastating injury.
Sports injuries take on multiple forms and may range from a minor sprain to a severe concussion. However, an injury doesn’t have to spell the end of your active lifestyle. If you ever get injured because of overuse or trauma, several providers can assist you through every stage of your treatment and recovery, and one of them is a physical therapist.
What to Expect From Physical Therapy for a Sports Injury
Physical therapists maximize the use of exercise, massage, and physical conditioning to treat sports injuries and complement medication or surgery. Here are some of the ways physical therapy can help you recover and return to sports safely.
Treatment for your sports injury may include pain medication. Depending on the severity of your injury, your doctor may also recommend complementing medications with physical therapy to alleviate pain.
To address the pain, your rehabilitation program will include a detailed exercise plan that keeps the affected body part moving to improve blood flow, flexibility, strength, and function. Inflammation, stiffness, and soreness can all be addressed through improved circulation. Additionally, physical activity boosts the production of pain-relieving chemicals in your body.
Take Back Control
Surgical treatment may involve controlled trauma to your muscles or skin so that your doctor can access your injuries. As your bones, muscles, and soft tissues heal, your function and mobility will be limited.
Once you’re able to move the affected body part, your physical therapist can create an exercise plan that takes your vulnerabilities and risk factors into careful consideration. They will decide which exercises to include, along with the order, intensity, number of sets, and length of rest periods that won’t cause unnecessary pressure on your injury.
Your physical therapy program is designed to progressively increase in intensity. The specific plan will depend on your condition. In general, it aims to help you regain neuromuscular control, restore balance, and strengthen injured tissue.
For instance, an athlete recovering from a rotator cuff injury can expect isometric exercises designed to stabilize the shoulder. Meanwhile, a patient recovering from a bone fracture may try motion and strengthening exercises that restore function to the area where the break occurred.
Strength and Conditioning
As you pass the initial stages of your rehabilitation plan and achieve a level of function stabilization from lighter exercises, you can advance to weight training to increase muscle strength. With the help of a physical therapist, athletic trainer, and other sports medicine specialists, you can proceed to strength and conditioning exercises designed to improve your athletic performance.
If you want a better understanding of how you can push your limits safely, you can also take a performance test to see which areas you need to work on after an injury. Your provider can recommend lifestyle changes you need to make as a way to meet your fitness goals.
Going the extra step beyond treatment, your physical therapist can make personalized recommendations on how you can adjust your technique and training to prevent further injury and improve your overall safety. Remember: avoiding injury and understanding your limits is still the best way to keep playing your favorite sport. To play effectively, you have to play smart.
Physical Therapists in Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes, Florida
Recovering from a sports injury is a long and challenging process. Make sure you’re getting the care you deserve from a competent and compassionate team that will guide you through every stage of your recovery, even beyond discharge. Here at Total Orthopaedic Care, we understand that every patient has a unique set of needs and design a rehabilitation plan that perfectly matches yours.
Backed by decades of medical experience, our board-certified specialists have a proven track record of getting amateur and professional athletes back into top shape after an injury. Visit our offices at Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes for a quick diagnosis and explore our wide range of treatment options with our providers.