Sports rehab brings athletes back to their normal performance level after injury. It combines a range of methods and treatments, from the traditional to the cutting edge, to accelerate healing and prevent further injuries.
The goal of sports rehabilitation is to return a player to their pre-injury level of physical and emotional functioning. This is achieved through a detailed plan of interventions and protocols implemented from minutes after the injury, right up to the moment they return to competition.
Sports injuries occur in many forms, from minor bruising and sprains to more severe fractures or concussions. Prevention is always key – warm up exercises, proper body mechanics, and cross-training between games are all essential to preventing sports injuries from occurring. However, injuries can happen even when these measures are taken.
When an athlete experiences a sport injury, their first step should always be to seek medical attention. From there, they will usually be referred to a physical therapist for sports rehab to ensure that the injury heals properly and efficiently.
During the initial phases of sports rehab, the focus is on reducing pain and swelling. This is usually done through the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method of treatment. If needed, medications may also be prescribed by a physician to help with the pain and swelling.
A sports physical therapist can provide an in-depth assessment of your injury and then guide you through a series of specialized exercise workouts designed to promote recovery and reduce the risk of further injury. They can also teach you how to strengthen the muscles surrounding your injured area so that you can support the injured tissue, thereby increasing your chances of an early and full recovery.