When you’re active in sports, it’s important to take care of your body and listen to what it’s telling you. Ignoring pain and pushing past your limits is something you know you shouldn’t do – but it’s extremely common for athletes to do anyway.
If you’re experiencing pain, facing an injury, or have hit a plateau in your performance, sports physical therapy can be the answer. It offers a few unique benefits to athletes.
10 Benefits of Sports Physical Therapy
1. Treatment of Sports Injuries
This is the most common reason why people seek out physical therapy, so it makes sense to put it right at the top of the list. Sports physical therapy can help you recover from an injury and pave the way for correct healing to prevent future pain or damage. This includes treatments such as:
- Soft tissue and joint mobilization
- Therapeutic exercise
- Neuromuscular re-education
- Personal training
- Cupping therapy
- Dry needling
And more! The benefit of working with a sports physical therapist is that they can assess your injury and recommend the specific treatments you need.
2. Prevent Future Sports Injuries
As we mentioned, many people seek out physical therapy after an injury, but it’s also highly useful as a preventative measure. Granted, injuries and unpredictable and you can’t stop everything – BUT you can address common causes for injuries in physical therapy to help avoid them.
For example, if you’re a runner your physical therapist might create a plan that helps strengthen muscles to help support joints, which can help you avoid some common joint injuries.
3. Immediate Pain Relief
When you’re experiencing pain, you need relief fast – especially if this pain is keeping you from participating in the sports you love. Sports physical therapy is designed to assess what’s causing your pain and providing immediate relief, without medication. But beyond just the immediate, you also have…
4. Long-term Pain Relief
There are ways to relieve pain in the short-term, but if you don’t identify and treat the underlying cause then you may still experience pain over time (or the pain may worsen). Another advantage of sports physical therapy is that it identifies the underlying causes of pain, to treat them over time and prevent pain from reoccurring as much as possible.
5. It’s an Alternative to Invasive Surgery
If left untreated for too long, injury and/or pain can escalate and eventually require surgery. Physical therapy is a key first step to treat conditions before they escalate. It can also be used to treat pain that is already severe – in some cases our patients think surgery is the only option but find that physical therapy helps them.
Sometimes surgery is necessary, but physical therapy is something to try before considering surgery.
6. Better Technique
One of the benefits of sports physical therapy over standard physical therapy is a sport therapists’ knowledge of athletics and important technique. They can help you align your body and provide technique training that’s aimed at improving your ability to perform.
7. Cardio Fitness Benefits
Injury treatment and pain relief are the most well-known benefits of sports physical therapy, but it has benefits for your heart health as well. Most sports therapy programs include cardio exercises that help to improve your overall cardio fitness. With improved cardio fitness comes improved overall fitness.
8. Improved Neuromuscular Control
For athletes, coordinating your body in motion is absolutely critical. Another advantage of sports physical therapy is that it will help you become more aware of your body as well as more in control of it. Not only is this a benefit to sports, but it’s also a useful skill to hone in your day-to-day life as well.
9. Increase Strength
Your physical therapy routine will likely include exercises and treatments that aim at improving your overall strength. Your routine will begin at a lower level and over time increase in difficulty, which challenges your body and pushes it forward.
10. It’s Relaxing
One of the most often overlooked benefits of sports physical therapy is that it can be a relaxing experience! Often your routine will include soft tissue mobilization, breathing exercises, or other treatments to reduce stress. This has physical benefits as well, but it also provides mental benefits. A lot of our patients at PRO Therapy look forward to their physical therapy as a mental break and time to unwind some stress.
Do you have any questions for our team at PRO Therapy? Are you hoping to avoid injury specific to a sport or in general? Are you currently dealing with an ache or pain and need help? Give us a call! We offer complimentary phone and in-person consultations. We aim to meet our patients wherever they are in their journey and answer all questions we can to ensure a smooth experience at PRO Therapy. We want to help you make the best decision for you!
PRO Therapy is an Independently Owned Orthopedic Physical Therapy Clinic. At PRO Therapy, we treat back, knee, neck/shoulder, ankle/foot, and hip pain as well as sports injuries, surgery rehabilitation, and anything else that’s causing you pain. We want everyone to have exceptional care, better access to care and be able to complete the activities in life that make them happy – free from a life of painkillers, injections, or surgeries