Every time you watch a major sporting event it seems like an injury occurs. These injuries not only impact the game, but can impact the athletes entire career. What doesn't often get shown is the countless hours these athletes spend in physical therapy and training coming back from these injuries. As a sports physical therapy clinic is our job to help our athletes not only rebound from an injury but to stay as healthy as possible and do what we can to prevent injuries from occurring. Each sport has its own unique demands and risk. This means that each sport will also have its own unique injury profile. For example, if you are a basketball player you are much more likely to injure your knee or ankle. If you are a boxer, you have a higher risk of concussion or hand fractures.
Here are some of the most common injuries from the top 10 sports played in the US.
Football: Head Injuries
Basketball: Lateral ankle sprain
Baseball: Rotator cuff tears
Soccer: Knee ligament injuries
Tennis: Lateral epicondylitis
Volleyball: Ankle sprains
Softball: Shoulder and elbow pain
Track and Field: Hamstring strain
Swimming: Shoulder strains
Sports physical therapy can play a key role in mitigating the risks of sports injuries. Physical therapists can help strengthen muscles, improve balance and coordination, and reduce the risk of further injury. For example, football athletes may benefit from physical therapy exercises to build strength in their shoulder and neck area to reduce the likelihood of head injury due to contact with other players. Basketball athletes may find relief from sprains and strains with specific exercises that build stability in the ankles, knees, hips, and back.
One of the most common benefits of physical therapy for sports injuries is increased range of motion. Physical therapists use therapeutic exercise techniques such as stretching to increase joint flexibility, allowing athletes to move more freely while they play or compete. Additionally, aquatic physical therapy can be used to improve range of motion without aggravating a painful condition or stressing injured joints during movement.
The envelope of function is a holistic approach to physical activity and sports performance. It takes into account the physiological, psychological, technical, tactical, and lifestyle elements that contribute to an individual's performance. The idea behind this theory is that in order for athletes to perform at their best, all of these elements need to be working together in harmony. By considering each of these aspects together instead of individually, coaches and athletes can create personalized training plans that help athletes reach their goals more effectively.
You will notice on this chart there are two axis. One is load, the other is frequency. The goal of a sports physical therapist is to help you perform in the "overload and adapt" band while avoiding the excessive load (zone of structural failure). If we undershoot the "overload & adapt" band then we land in the zone of homeostasis. The problem with this area is that if we are trying to gain strength, range of motion, balance, or any other physical trait we need to overload so the body can adapt. Oftentimes I have found that physical therapists are working in the homeostasis or not enough band.
For our bodies to make any physical gains, we must place the correct amount of stress on it. The body will adjust to the demands that are placed upon it. If the stress is too excessive, we may risk injury; but if it is too little, then there will be no progress. However, if the strain is just right, the body will respond accordingly and adapt as needed.
The SAID (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) Principle is an important concept in physical therapy. It states that the body adapts and responds to specific stresses imposed on it. This means that the same exercises or activities done over and over again can help to increase strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and coordination.
The SAID Principle also highlights the importance of individualizing physical therapy programs for each person. In order to maximize results, practitioners must tailor their treatment plans based on the patient's needs and goals. Additionally, they must adjust the exercises as appropriate depending on how the patient responds.
In summary, the SAID Principle emphasizes that physical therapists need to be thoughtful and strategic when prescribing exercise regimens in order for them to be successful in helping people return to optimum levels of functioning.
For more check out this video.
Sports physical therapy can play a key role in mitigating the risks of sports injuries. Physical therapists can help strengthen muscles, improve balance and coordination, and reduce the risk of further injury. Physical therapists use therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, modalities, and movement analysis to help athletes return from injury, prevent future injury, and maximize performance in their sport.
If you are looking for a specialist in treating sports injuries reach out to us today. All of our therapists have strong sports backgrounds and specialize in sports medicine.