Physical activity is an essential part of your life. You enjoy playing ball with your work friends or going for a solitary run or swim every morning, are preparing for college recruitment, or have made a career as a professional athlete. When your body sustains an injury of any kind, as an athlete, it’s devastating. In order to safely recover from any injury or surgery and swiftly return to the sports and activities you love, you need the professional treatment and guidance of a sports therapist.
Axes Physical Therapy is here for all of your sports therapy needs. Axes Physical Therapy is a leader in sports therapy and sports injury rehabilitation in the Greater St. Louis area, with a physical therapy and athletic training team ready to get you back in the game. As our patient, we will work closely with you to align your treatment plan with your goals for returning to an active lifestyle. With your active participation in your treatment plan and our guidance and education, your sports therapist will return you to the active lifestyle you value. To begin your recovery, schedule your first sports therapy appointment today or learn more about our capabilities by sending us a message or requesting an appointment now.
What is Sports Therapy?
Sports therapy is a physical therapy sub-specialty built around the objective of preventing injuries, maximizing athletic performance, and rehabilitating athletes following an acute or chronic injury. The sports therapist works closely with the athlete to return the patient to their peak performance level to return safely to their sport. Patients in sports therapy typically begin their program after experiencing an acute injury, while recovering from surgery, or when addressing overuse injuries that limit their ability to participate in activities or cause pain.
Sports therapy is the convergence of the principles of physical therapy and exercise science, with the primary objectives of optimizing movement, improving athletic performance, and recovering from injury. It is practiced and administered by physical therapists and certified strength and conditioning specialists who apply evidence-based therapeutic practices to help athletes of all levels. These professionals have trained and worked extensively in treating athletes, both amateur and professional, and are experts in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Sports therapy places a focus on rehabilitation, treatment, prevention, and education.
Receiving Sports Therapy
When you enter a sports therapy program, your certified sports therapist will:
- Take an extensive medical history and understand your goals for recovery
- Assess and diagnose any injuries
- Discuss and consult with you and your physician to develop a personalized treatment plan
- Prescribe and implement an effective rehabilitation program
- Educate you in on-going strategies for pain reduction, injury prevention, chronic injury management, and performace optimization
- Administer hands-on mobilization therapies specific to your condition
- Advise you on the best way to maintain your ideal fitness level
- Refer you to additional medical specialists, when appropriate
Your sports therapy program will be personalized – singular to your own unique personal needs and goals as an athlete. Our highly-skilled sports therapists will work closely with you, assuming the roles of the physical therapist, performance coach, advisor, and occasional drill sergeant. Together, you and your sports therapist will design your sports therapy program using a combination of specialized treatments, exercises, and movements that will most effectively and safely assist in your recovery from an injury, return you to your ideal level of physical performance, and mentally prepare you to return to the competitive atmosphere of sports.
Some treatment techniques you may receive in sports therapy include:
- Manual and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization
- Kinesio taping
- Spinal and joint mobilizations
- Trigger point dry needling
- Blood flow restriction training
- Ultrasound and electrical stimulation therapy
- Video motion analysis
- Functional and sports-specific return to sport testing
- Exercise and movement based programs specific to your injury and sport
Our seasoned, certified sports therapists and support team are familiar with your specific needs and challenges as an athlete in recovery. Whether you are a professional athlete, a student member of an elite sports team, a recreational athlete, or someone who enjoys a daily morning jog or other physical activity, we understand how an injury can affect your life. The struggle of physical pain, discomfort, and restricted mobility, coupled with the fear and anxiety of an uncertain future, is commonly seen and is completely normal. When a naturally active, driven individual grapples with an injury that limits their ability to participate fully in their sport, it is natural to experience feelings of frustration, fear, anger, or anxiety about returning to your previous ability level. With the support of a good sports therapist and a positive, fun, supportive healing environment, you can work through these psychological challenges and overcome any obstacle you face, both physical and mental.
Who Can Benefit From Sports Therapy?
Sports therapy commonly occurs in a competitive sports setting, but that is not always the case. Anyone who desires to remain physically active and injury-free or seeks to safely recover from an injury or surgery can and should receive sports therapy. It will allow you to return to sports and physical activity as quickly and as safely as possible.
We treat sports therapy patients for many different reasons. The most common sports-related injuries according to the National Institute of Health are:
- Sprains and strains
- Knee injuries
- Swollen muscles
- Sort tissue injuries
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Shin splints and shin pain
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Broken bones (simple and compound fractures)
- Joint dislocations
There is always a risk of injuries like those listed above when one engages in physical activity. However, the risk increases for those who are not in good physical shape or those who participate in physical activity without simple precautions. You can reduce the risk of injury by adequately preparing before playing. Adequate preparation includes a proper active warm-up and ongoing and regular strength and flexibility training. Additionally, using the proper technique and appropriate safety equipment for any sport reduces the chances of serious injury. Even the world’s top athletes are prone to injury when they don’t prepare their bodies for competition, push themselves too far, and don’t allow for proper recovery time.
Despite all precautions, injuries can happen even in the most careful situations. When this happens, you can mitigate the impact and severity of any injuries you suffer by responding appropriately. It’s important to know what to do immediately after an acute injury. For most, the best thing to do is to stop playing. Do not try to play through it, even if you believe the injury to be minor. For many kinds of injuries, the first step in treatment is the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. It will alleviate pain, minimize swelling, and speed up the healing process. Most importantly, the best action is accessing the medical resources to help you manage your condition. After you become injured, receive medical care right away and contact Axes Physical Therapy for a free injury screening, referral to the top medical specialists in St. Louis, and access to the best available sports therapy services.
Start Sports Therapy | Axes Physical Therapy
We know that you value your active lifestyle, and returning to the sports you love is one of your top concerns after suffering an unexpected injury or having to undergo surgery. Proper rehabilitation and sports therapy is the solution for a complete and lasting recovery. When you work with Axes for your sports therapy needs, we will ensure that you heal according to research-based timelines specific to your injury or surgery that you receive the proper therapeutic interventions. Let us share our extensive knowledge and years of experience with you to help you get back to the physical activity you love. As a locally owned and operated physical therapy practice, we center our practice on the needs of our patients and clients. As such, you will receive individualized care from sports therapists who know what it means to be an athlete. Don’t take our word for it; see our five-star Google reviews from previous patients.
When you are an athlete who needs to recover from an injury or surgery, time is of the essence. For a swift and successful recovery, begin sports therapy as soon as you can. For more information on our sports therapy program and other services, contact us online, visit our locations page for the office nearest you, or select your area from the list below.