Injuries tend to occur in sporting activities. High level athletes in particular, are prone to injuries due to the excessive wear and tear associated with the demands of competitive sports. The right exercise program to maintain strength, flexibility and stability can help athletes recover quickly after an injury, empowering them to resume athletic activities.

Sports injuries include injuries involving the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system includes the bones, tissues, muscles, and cartilage. Every injury is different and every person heals differently. The purpose of rehabilitation is to help the injured tissues recover in a controlled and supervised manner. It takes time for an injury to heal, and it’s best to see the guidance of an experienced physical therapist during this time. The therapist can design a safe and effective recovery program specifically geared towards the individual’s abilities. The physical therapist can identify the cause of the injury, create a treatment plan and also teach preventative measures of further injury in the future.

Some of the most common sports injuries include sprains, strains, shin splints and knee injuries. If you or someone you know is injured, schedule and evaluation with a physical therapist as quickly as possible.

Physical Therapy—The Right Choice

A physical therapist is a healthcare professional with extensive training in the musculoskeletal system. The therapist can work closely with athletes to assess muscle imbalance, range of motion and functional requirements of that particular sports. For example, a baseball pitcher may need a shoulder stabilization program; while a basketball player may need a speed and plyometric (explosive strength) training program. The physical therapist can evaluate, identify, and plan a sport-specific injury prevention and (once the injury is treated) and athletic performance program that can help the athlete regain full potential.

As part of the therapy program, therapist teach stretches and exercises; often using special equipment to reach specific goals. Therapy focuses on reducing pain and improving function as quickly as possible. Rest is an important part of the recovery process. Rest, combined with physical therapy, is the best recipe for recovery after being injured.

Don’t wait for an Injury…

An injury is the last thing an athlete wants. Without properly rehabilitation, the damage can get worse. Physical therapy will help the athlete heal and return to normal. In many cases, therapy can also help to strengthen a particular area to avoid future injuries. Working with an physical therapist requires time and patience, but it’s the best for an athlete to resume and continue sport. It’s a great way to come back to the sport you love and enjoy it, while minimizing the likelihood of re-injury.

If you or someone you know is an athlete, consider working with a physical therapist. In fact, you don’t have to wait till you are injured, because a physical therapist can help an athlete improve performance and minimize injury. A preventative, proactive approach is likely to help athletes even more.