Sports Physical Therapy – The Four Phases of Sports Rehab

The most common injuries in sports include sprains (ligament injuries that can be stretched or torn) and strains (muscle injuries). Injuries can also be bone related such as fractures, requiring surgery or medical intervention. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, injuries are an unfortunate part of playing sport. Sports physical therapy is often a key component in recovering from sports injuries.

The first phase of rehab begins with controlling pain and swelling through ice, compression, rest and elevation. This is followed by gentle and progressive exercise routines, balancing stretching with exercise to improve flexibility and strength. This phase often includes the use of therapeutic modalities like electrical stimulation, ultrasound and joint mobilizations to decrease pain and increase motion in the injured area.

In the third phase, exercises to improve proprioception and balance are implemented. Proprioception is the ability of the body to know where it is in space without looking, and it becomes weakened when injured. Exercises may include isometrics against an immovable object, elastic bands with varying resistance, free weights, or cuff weights.

In the final stage of rehabilitation, athletes will be introduced to exercises and drills similar to those used in their sport. This helps to prevent re-injury as well as improve performance. A trained and experienced BASRaT registered sport therapist can guide you through the process of getting back to the game as quickly as possible while improving your performance. sports rehab






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