Sports medicine is a field of medicine that includes the prevention, examination, and management of athletic injuries. Those that seek treatment through sports physical therapy often have suffered a sports-related injury and are in need of a diagnosis and recovery plan, but sports physical therapy can play an active role in preventing injuries from happening in the first place.
Sports physical therapy can come into play at any point in a patients’ recovery journey and even before an injury has occurred. A sports physical therapists’ main goal is to prevent an injury from happening by focusing on injury prevention trainings and programs with individuals or groups of athletes. However, should someone experience an injury, sports physical therapists are trained in the evaluation and management of sports-related injuries. More commonly, patients are referred to sports physical therapy for rehabilitation after an injury. The rehabilitation process commonly includes creating an individualized exercise program that optimally progresses a patient through their recovery. Sports physical therapists often use tests that provide helpful information to help make decisions about returning to athletic activity.
Seeing a physical therapist early after an injury can have several benefits. Some recent evidence suggests early access to physical therapy can lead to better outcomes versus delayed care for certain orthopedic conditions. Sports physical therapists frequently collaborate with physicians, athletic trainers, and other healthcare providers for a comprehensive, team-based approach to injury recovery.
Most commonly, you can find a sports physical therapist in an outpatient clinical setting which could range from being affiliated with a hospital system to private practice. Some sports physical therapists will work with collegiate and professional athletic teams, tactical athletes (first responders, special operations, military), sports performance settings, or those in adaptive sports.
As a team that offers and finds great importance in sports physical therapy, we take great pride in a detailed and tactful approach to sports injury prevention and rehabilitation. Collaborating with other sports medicine professionals is essential to always providing the best information and care for our patients. If you wish to learn more about sports physical therapy, contact us to set up a time to meet with one of our trusted care professionals. Our goal is to get our patients back to practicing the sports and activities that they love.