May is National Physiotherapy Month, and it’s a great time to increase awareness about what physiotherapy can do for you. Growing up, I was a competitive athlete, and I was drawn to physiotherapy because I saw what physio could do to help reduce pain, improve healing, and get you back to the field quickly without much disruption to team practices and competition.
But physio can offer more than healing…the right exercises, stretches
and plan can actually help prevent sports injuries. A patient once told me that he sees physios as the mechanic for humans: he brings his car in regularly to his auto mechanic for preventative maintenance as well as when there is a problem. (Great analogy, right?) Similarly, athletes—whether you’re gearing up for golf season or training for a marathon —should consider physiotherapists a resource to figure out the best approach to avoid injury in the first place. This approach is called “prehabilitation,” where a physiotherapist assesses elements like posture, muscle weakness, inflexibility and joint weakness and then makes recommendations to correct problems before they become injuries.
Consider Joan’s example: she regularly went to the gym and boot camp classes, but she had never been able to do much running because of knee pain whenever she tried. Her physiotherapist assessed her knee and found that she had a muscle imbalance—weak quads and tight hamstrings and IT band. The physio also watched Joan run and found inefficiencies with her posture and running form. With regular practice, exercises and feedback over four months, Joan was able to retrain the muscles in her leg and completed her first 10km race without knee pain. A year later, she’s an avid runner and now runs in half marathons.
Physiotherapists know how the body works, and how it moves. In sports physiotherapy, they are on the medical team at major sporting events like the Olympics and world championships. Physiotherapists help athletes recover quickly after workouts and competition. They treat injuries immediately and get them back on the field to competition. Physiotherapists assess and provide conditioning programs to supplement athletes’ regular workouts and training with their team and coaches.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you be at your best for sports.