Although each sport is known for certain injuries, many injuries are common across all sports. These include, but are not limited to:
- Knee injuries
- Muscle strains
- Repetitive use injuries
- Shin splints
- Swollen muscles
There are many different causes for specific sports injuries, but these factors are frequently implicated as contributing to sports injuries:
- Inadequate warmup
- Lack of conditioning
- Poor training
“Weekend warriors,” who are sedentary all week and then play sports on the weekends are at higher risk for injury, as are those who over-train without adequate rest breaks. In addition, those who specialize in one sport and do not adequately cross-train are at risk for overbuilding some muscles while letting others grow weak.
Physical Therapy for Sports Injuries
Physical therapy for sports injuries is designed to assess and treat not only the existing injury, but also the factors that contributed to it. This is done through a three-stage healing process:
Acute phase: Starting immediately after any medical treatment for your injury, the acute phase focuses on a course of action known as PRICE: Prevention-Rest-Ice-Elevation, which is designed to reduce inflammation and stimulate your body’s healing processes. You will learn to care for your injury and minimize the risk of additional injuries.
Subacute phase: The subacute phase begins when your injury is stabilized. The goal is to get you up and moving in a way that will not aggravate the injury. You will perform stretching and strengthening exercises both in our office and at home to reduce pain and increase your range of motion. Depending on your specific injury and your sport, you may or may not be able to resume limited training at this time.
Chronic phase: In the chronic phase, you will gradually return to your full training schedule. At this point, your injury is healing well, and you are not likely to re-injure yourself. However, your body has been traumatized and needs to rebuild. We will focus on your strength, endurance, and range of motion. We will also address any functional issues that could have contributed to the injury, such as weak supporting muscles.
Preventing Sports Injuries
Though it is impossible to prevent all sports injuries, you can reduce your risks. Be sure to pay attention to functional fitness, incorporate cross-training activities, and build in rest periods. Hydrate and get enough sleep, and warm up before every workout or competition. If you will compete at an elite or professional level, have a complete assessment by a physical therapist to address any underlying issues and prepare your body. Also check with your physician before you start any new sports or fitness program.
At Radical Physical Therapy, we have developed innovative treatment methods which combine principles from physical therapy, fitness, and sports rehabilitation to deliver the fastest, most effective results. We guide our athletes through the specific movement mechanics of their sport, helping them to maximize their techniques and abilities. We have helped hundreds of patients return to, and even surpass, previous levels of sports activity through exercise.
We are the best sports-specific physical therapy clinic in NJ, serving HS, college, and pro athletes in New Jersey. We specialize in football, soccer, baseball, basketball, and running injuries.
Call (732) 662-4400 to schedule your appointment.