The Commonwealth Games 2018 starts this week and will feature a heady mix of different sporting disciplines from athletics to wrestling. One day they might have to include Zumba, just so we can have a complete A-Z list.
With another great sporting event coming so hot on the heels of the recent Winter Olympics, we thought we’d look at the role physiotherapists have to play when it comes to sports, and the importance athletes place on them.
Why are physios so important?
No matter what sport they’re involved in, athletes have one thing in common – the desire to be better. Athletes are constantly pushing themselves to be stronger, go faster, improve their endurance, jump higher and so on. The purpose? To be the best that they can possible be, and ultimately, beat their competitors.
None of that happens in isolation. An athlete can train as hard as possible on their own, but it takes an entire team to get them to the very top of their game. Physiotherapists are just one small part of that team; but what to do they do that can ultimately help make the difference?
Physiotherapists can offer a wide range of services, and specialities, depending on what it is they have decided to focus on. When it comes to athletes, they will be dealing with a sports physiotherapist, who is dedicated in working with sports people, of all varieties.
The main purpose of a sports physio is the help ensure an as quick as possible recovery from injury, without compromising the athlete’s ability in any way. This is done by taking on to account the body’s needs, as far as healing is concerned, with the need to continue training or practicing. There is always a real danger that over exertion could cause further injury and downplaying the body’s way of compensating for an injury can result in additional strain being placed on other parts of the body.
However, they are also charged with helping to improve an athlete’s general health and fitness (along with other members of the team). This part of the work focusses on conditioning, helping to build muscles, strength and endurance.
A sports physiotherapist will be on hand to help with pain management following an injury. Pain is almost an inevitable part of an athlete’s life; however, it is vital that pain is listened to, and managed accordingly so as not to cause additional management.
A physiotherapist in this capacity can look at different ways to ease discomfort. This can be through different exercises, stretches and massage; not to mention acupuncture, cupping therapy and hydrotherapy depending on the individual’s needs.
Finally, a physiotherapist will be keen to find ways to prevent injury from occurring in the first place. They can look at common injuries that occur within a particular discipline and find ways to help ensure these are less likely to occur for their client.
Of course, physiotherapy is not just for elite athletes, or those who take their training seriously. If you are involved in any sports, or have any injury, no matter how it occurred, then a physiotherapist will be able to use their skill set and experience to help you with injury prevention, recovery and pain management. Simply contact Active Physiotherapy for more information.