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Physiotherapy for Athletes – What are the Benefits?

The benefits of Physiotherapy for physically active people

Becoming an athlete is incredibly demanding and taxing, both physically, and mentally in the process, which is why there are so few individuals in the world who can truly class themselves as athletes. Whether you do consider yourself an athlete, or whether you simply like to engage in sporting activities every now and then, one thing that is for certain, is the fact that your body is constantly at risk of becoming injured. In reality, we all suffer with various aches and pains in the body every now and then, especially as we find ourselves growing older as time passes us by.

However, if you are active and involved in sports, or any other form of physical activity, you will almost certainly be far more at risk, and you will therefore need to take certain preventative measures and steps to help you stay as fit, as healthy, and as pain-free, as you possibly can. Sports physiotherapy for athletes is one of the most effective methods of managing pain, improving athletic performance and much more besides, which is why we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at physical therapy and the benefits of sports injury physiotherapy right now.

We’ll be looking at what physiotherapy is, the different methods available, and, most importantly, some of the primary benefits associated with sports physiotherapy, if you happen to be physically active yourself. So, without any further hesitation, let’s get things started.

What is sports physiotherapy and what is a physio?

Stretching to prevent injury

Sports physiotherapy is a specialist branch of physiotherapy that is designed to help deal with the aches, pains, nagging injuries, and the more serious injuries commonly associated with sports and various other forms of physical activity in general. The sports physio is a highly trained individual specialising in treating and preventing common injuries and ailments causes as a result of physical exercise.

Not only does sports physiotherapy prove useful for dealing with aches, pains, and nagging injuries, it can also assist with rehabilitation following an injury, plus it can improve an athlete’s physical fitness, and their athletic performance in general. You may not realise it, but there are actually more than 20 different forms and techniques of physiotherapy, so there is literally something for everybody.

Sports physiotherapy incorporates a number of healing techniques and exercises, designed to treat injuries and pain and discomfort, and to help prevent them altogether. Sciatica for example, is very common in physically active individuals, and sports physiotherapy provides a number of sciatic pain treatment methods designed to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with suffering from sciatic nerve pain. People suffering with poor posture, back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, limited range of motion, poor flexibility, and much more besides, can also benefit hugely from this branch of physiotherapy.

Why is sports physiotherapy so important?

Older Athletes and running for fitness

As mentioned, sports physiotherapy is designed to serve a whole host of purposes, though arguably the most common examples are for dealing with injuries and aches and pains caused as a result of the physical activity.

Athletes and sportspersons in general, are often afflicted with a whole host of ailments, including things like: lower back pain, sciatica, poor posture, torn muscles, pulled muscles, joint dislocations, and much more besides. Athletes are constantly putting their bodies on the line, no matter which disciplines they happen to be involved in, which is why it is so important to visit a sports therapist, even if you feel perfectly fit and healthy. In the world of sports, athletics, and sports therapy in general, prevention is the best cure of injury, which is why so many athletes visit specialist physiotherapists on a weekly basis, with many of them including their visits as part of their training regimes.

What are the main benefits of visiting a physiotherapy sports clinic?

Regular exercise for bone health

Whether you’re an athlete dealing with an injury, whether you’re rehabbing, whether you’re trying to stay flexible, fit, and healthy, or whether you’re simply trying to improve your overall athletic performance, visiting a qualified sports injury physiotherapy expert could be one of the smartest choices you will ever make. We’ll now take a much more detailed look at some of the primary benefits associated with seeing a sports physiotherapist.

Slow and sustainable repair of the muscles and the body – As an athlete, your body is placed under much more stress than the average person, and your muscles are forced to work much harder than usual, and to take a great deal of punishment in the process.

Every time we engage in physical exercise or activity, we’re putting our muscles under pressure and are damaging them, which is why they feel so tender and so sore following a strenuous workout or bout of physical activity. The great thing about sports physiotherapy, is the fact that the physiotherapists, who are highly skilled and highly trained, know where to focus the majority of their attention.

These experts, rather than concentrating their efforts solely on the part of the body that is most heavily afflicted, will instead look at the causes that could have led to the injury/discomfort in the first place. Because of this, the entire body benefits overall, rather than just one or two body parts and muscle groups. Using a number of techniques, including sports massage therapy, multi-level postures, strengthening exercises, stretching movements, and much more besides, the body has chance to heal itself slowly, which is one of the reasons why physiotherapy is so beneficial for people looking to recover following a particularly strenuous workout or activity.

Full-body benefits

As mentioned, rather than focussing solely on one area, sports physiotherapy instead focuses on multiple areas of the body, allowing for multiple overall benefits in the human body. Your highly skilled and highly trained physical therapist will encourage you to perform a number of exercises designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles, which in turn, will help improve flexibility, it will help promote healthy circulation, blood flow, and oxygen transportation, plus it will again ensure that you are far less vulnerable and susceptible to common injuries when you participate in your chosen sport/sports. Because of this, your body will become more agile, you yourself will become fitter, and you will benefit in numerous ways, all over your body.

Pain management

Unfortunately, although sports and physical activity in general, is so beneficial and good for you, it can also provide a number of very negative side effects as well. Most athletes and sports persons have to deal with varying degrees of pain and discomfort on a daily basis, with conditions such as sciatica, knee pain, and lumbago, or acute lower back pain, all being far too common. The great thing about a sports physio however, is that there are a number of physiotherapy treatment options, all of which are designed to help deal with pain and discomfort. The exercises, movements, and the procedures in general, whilst initially feeling physically tough, and even themselves proving to be painful initially, will quickly yield extremely impressive results when it comes to pain management. A lot of athletes dealing with chronic and/or persistent pain and discomfort, may be forced to rely on over the counter pain killers and medicines, which can be very bad for us and can provide numerous other side effects and health conditions along the way. As physiotherapy exercises and techniques are so beneficial for relieving pain and discomfort, the athlte in question becomes much healthier and fitter, plus their overall quality of life improves, because they experience less pain and discomfort.

Chronic health issues can also be treated and addressed

Another fantastic benefit associated with sports physiotherapy, is the fact that not only can it help to deal with injuries, pain, and discomfort caused via exercise and physical activity, but it can also help to treat and address a number of other health issues, including chronic ones. Cardiovascular conditions, respiratory conditions, circulatory conditions, and more, all benefit from regular physiotherapy sessions, which is another reason why so many people are opting to visit a physiotherapist on a regular basis.

Improved flexibility

As an athlete, being as flexible as possible is essential, as it will not only help you to avoid injury, but it will also help to improve your overall athletic performance. Active sports physiotherapy therefore, is also beneficial for this very reason. You see, many of the exercises and techniques utilized by sports physiotherapists, are designed to promote improvements and increases in flexibility and mobility. This is achieved as a result of the muscle tissues being stretched before and after strenuous physical activity. If our muscle fibres are tight, it can severely limit our mobility and our range of motion, which not only hampers physical performance, but it can also make us much more susceptible to injury in the process. The muscle fibres become warmed up, and are stretched out, muscle fibre elasticity improves, which in turn helps to promote increases in flexibility, plus, it also reduces the likelihood of us suffering from a painful and debilitating injury.

Fantastic for rehabilitation

Gymnastics and posture

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how careful we are, and which preventative measures we have taken, the inevitable can sometimes happen, and we can pick up painful and debilitating injuries. Whether we’ve suffered from a slight muscle pull, a torn muscle, or from a surgically reattached muscle, if we want to get back into the gym, onto the running track, or anywhere else for that matter, we will need to rehab from our injury and recover as best we can. Another huge benefit associated with visiting a sports therapist, is the fact that they will help us to rehabilitate our bodies following painful injuries, allowing us to train and come back fitter, healthier, stronger, and better than ever before.

Sports physiotherapists are highly experienced when it comes to rehabilitation following injury, so they will be able to advise you on which exercises to perform, which to avoid, how hard to push yourself, and on how long your rehabilitation process will take. They will work with you on a one-on-one basis, and will create rehabilitation program designed to help you recover as quickly and as effectively as you possibly can.

Whilst suffering an injury can be a real blow, both physically and mentally, with the help of a Dublin sports physiotherapy clinic, you will cruise through your rehab, you won’t take any unnecessary risks, you’ll recover incredibly well, and before you know it, you’ll be back doing what you love, and you’ll be better than ever in the process.

Sports physiotherapy is great for the mind

When talking about sports and athletics, a lot of people find themselves focussing on solely on the body, rather than the mind. Whilst the body does obviously play a crucial role in physical exercise and activity, so too does the mind, which is why it’s important to look after your mental health and well-being in the process. Strenuous physical activity and exercise can take its toll on a person’s mental health and well-being, especially in the event of a painful and debilitating injury.

Many athletes and sportspersons find themselves slipping into states of depression and suffering from anxiety, mood swings, and other forms of mental health disorders. It can be emotionally disturbing having to deal with an injury, and accept the fact that you will be sidelined and kept away from doing something that you love doing for several weeks or months, which is another reason why sports physiotherapy can be so beneficial.

Professional physiotherapists will know exactly what you’re going through, and will be able to teach various techniques to you on how to cope with the mental side of things. They will provide you with a positive environment and a positive outlook on things, thus helping you to better cope with what it is that you’re going through at that present moment in time. Being in the right frame of mind is essential, and your physiotherapist will know that, and will help to get you to where you need to be, both physically, and emotionally.

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