If you have sustained a sports or orthopedic injury, an integral part of your recovery and rehabilitation is the treatment you receive from physical therapy. These professionals provide the best possible care of sports, spine, orthopedic and neuromuscular conditions. Physical therapists use their extensive training in sports and orthopedic rehabilitation to support patients with sports injuries. Physical therapy uses a combination of modalities to target each patient’s specific problem. They provide a comprehensive treatment plan that includes physical therapy and education in body mechanics. Physical therapists teach each patient therapeutic exercises to stretch shortened and weakened muscles and joints and to strengthen atrophied muscles to regain function, increase power, endurance and stabilization. These exercises also maintain strength and prevent further injuries. Most physical therapists use a multi-disciplinary approach to sports and orthopedic rehabilitation. They also employ numerous modalities to manage pain and reduce inflammation, such as ice packs or TENS (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation).
After assessing the physician’s report, your physical therapist will examine you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. These methods include observation, palpation, range of motion and resistance testing, and any other necessary specialized tests. Based upon their findings, the physical therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan. In addition to understanding the nature of the patient’s injury, physical therapists are highly trained to treat musculoskeletal injuries. Some of the diverse techniques they might use are hands-on modalities, such as Muscle Energy Technique, to elongate tight muscles. Sports and orthopedic massage techniques are provided post injury or as part of the post-surgical intervention plan. In other instances, the massage techniques are used to encourage performance enhancement and a speedy recovery, not just for injury rehabilitation.
The importance of physical therapy after a sports or orthopedic injury cannot be over-stated. As a vital part of the rehabilitation team, your physical therapist will encourage a speedier recovery, manage your pain, improve muscle strength and function, and get you back in the game in record time.