Sports physiotherapy is a specialist area that relates to injuries or illnesses caused by sport and exercise. Essentially these injuries fall commonly within the scope of general musculoskeletal conditions such as muscle and ligament strains or sprains, joint and bone injuries.
The significant difference is often understanding the role sport has in these injuries. Having sport-specific knowledge is critical to understanding the demands and requirements the sport will place on the patient.
Having a thorough and accurate diagnostic scope helps determine whether an injury is acute, chronic, the result of poor biomechanics or a gradual overuse condition. The role of a sports physiotherapist is to help athletes recover from these injuries and also to provide a safe and effective return to sport whilst preventing the injury from recurring.
Sports physios may have also undertaken courses with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and be a member of the specialty sub-group Sports Physiotherapy Australia (SPA) where further experience and knowledge may be gained and the most up to date evidence-based practice kept current and relevant.
Common injuries seen by a sports physiotherapist include:
- Ligament Sprains and Tears
- Stress fractures
- Muscle injuries
Sports physiotherapy covers all levels of sporting injuries from beginners to elite level. Injuries occurring in the active population are to similar injuries found on the sporting field and are managed in the same way as the sporting population.