The sports physiotherapist is a physiotherapist specialized in the follow-up of athletes, and the management of all pathologies related to sports practice. What is his role ? Can it help you improve your athletic performance? What injuries are most frequently treated by sports physiotherapists?
WHO CAN CONSULT A SPORTS PHYSIOTHERAPIST?
Whether you are an occasional, amateur or high-level athlete, you may need to consult a sports physiotherapy mullingar. This specialized branch of physiotherapy is aimed at all people who practice at least one sporting activity. It also concerns sedentary people wishing to start or resume physical exercise in good conditions, minimizing the risk of injury.
Often a sportsman himself, from specific training, the sports physio accompanies you at all stages of your sports practice:
He establishes personalized training and physical preparation programs
It supports the healing of all your sports injuries (prevention, rehabilitation, rehabilitation)
It monitors high-level athletes during competitions
In practice, the sports physio generally receives amateur athletes. Clubs, sports federations and physical preparation centers employ full-time or occasional massage therapists to monitor professional athletes.
WHAT IS THE TRAINING OF A SPORTS PHYSIOTHERAPIST?
The sports physiotherapist is trained in specific techniques. In addition to his state diploma as a masseur-physiotherapist, he took additional training at the University or in a private school.
To follow top athletes , great availability and additional skills are required. The sports physiotherapist must be trained in sports massage and first aid . To best support athletes during competitions and other major events (Olympic Games), training in sports psychology is a major asset.
ROLE OF THE PHYSIOTHERAPIST WITHIN THE SPORTS CLUB AND IN COMPETITION
Amateur and professional clubs have a great interest in investing in the medical follow-up of athletes . Indeed, a rigorous follow-up, with an adapted training program, guarantees better performance on the field and less losses linked to injuries.
Professional sports clubs generally employ a complete medical team: sports doctor, massage therapist, osteopath, nutritionist… These health professionals work together with coaches and trainers. In particular, the advice of the sports physiotherapist allows the coach to adapt his training to the particularities of each person. The goal is to optimize athlete performance , while keeping injury rates as low as possible.
During the competition, the physiotherapist is present in the changing rooms and on the field. He participates in the warm-up and recovery, but also in monitoring the match, especially in the absence of the doctor. He practices a certain number of preventive and curative treatments such as sports massages, taping and strapping.
General physical preparation is the first essential step in supporting athletes. The sports physio accompanies you in the development of basic physical abilities, which allow you to practice all sports. During this phase, you work the whole body, to develop qualities such as endurance, strength and extensibility.
General physical preparation (GPP) concerns athletes of all levels, including people wishing to start or return to sport.
The specific physical preparation is the second stage of the program. Its goal is more targeted: it is a question of adapting the physical capacities of the sportsman to the discipline which he practices.
It breaks down into two axes. First, the study of the constraints and qualities required for the sport you practice (football, running, dancing, swimming, etc.). These constraints are measured, so that you can work with quantified objectives to be achieved.
Then, the sports physio helps you develop these qualities, to achieve your goal: optimal performance in the sport you practice, with a minimum risk of injury.
Rehabilitation and healing
Injury prevention comes into play at several points in an athlete’s life:
Before the injury occurs (primary prevention)
When the patient is already suffering: the role of the physiotherapist is then to identify and limit the worsening of the pathology (secondary prevention)
When the patient has a history of injuries: prevention then aims to avoid recurrences (we speak of tertiary prevention).
During the first consultation, the sports physiotherapist carries out a complete assessment of your abilities (strength, endurance, mobility). He also asks you about your recurring pain, and your past injuries.
History taking is an important aspect of prevention. Indeed, having already suffered from sports injuries increases the probability of being injured again.
High-level athletes can benefit from a pre-season assessment . Carried out in the office or in the field, this assessment makes it possible in particular to identify the athletes most at risk. This work is carried out in collaboration with the sports trainer and the coach, to develop suitable training programs.
Injury is a difficult moment, especially if you are a top athlete. In the event of a sports accident, your physiotherapist accompanies you throughout the rehabilitation process , so that you can return to sport in the best possible conditions.
Trained in sports traumatology , the sports physiotherapist intervenes in the field to take care of the injured athlete, as soon as the injury appears.
Then, the rehabilitation process is done in three stages:
An inflammatory phase, where the role of the physiotherapist is to help the patient fight against pain
A functional rehabilitation phase, with exercises allowing the patient to recover their mobility, strength and autonomy
A rehabilitation phase, which meets the specific needs of the athlete. During this phase, the physiotherapist works in conjunction with the coach and the sports trainer, who must ensure his relay on the ground.
Always in connection with the technical staff, re- athletics is another pillar of support in sports physiotherapy. This is the last phase of rehabilitation, which comes close to specific physical preparation . Its objective is to prepare for the return to sport , after healing.