By Joe Zarett, MPT
The importance of physical therapy in sports can never be overstated. Sports physical therapy is a specialized practice that focuses on prevention, evaluation, treatment/rehabilitation, and performance enhancement of the physically-active individual. Here are three of the major benefits of physical therapy:
1. SPORTS INJURY REHABILITATION
My patients are often fearful that after suffering their injury they can never regain 100% of their functional status. In some cases that may be true. However, it has been shown that with a properly designed/carried out physical therapy program, it is absolutely possible to come back 100%. In a team approach with physicians, we design and implement rehabilitation programs for clients of all ages and physical abilities, as well as elite athletes. The physical therapy program consists of strengthening the body and reversing the effect of the injury. Areas of deficiency and flexibility, muscular strength and endurance are outlined in a specific training regiment. That is the root of physical therapy—restoring the body to its initial /pre-injury status or as close to it as possible. Physical therapists undergo vigorous training including undergraduate and graduate schooling in accredited U.S. universities taking up to six or seven years to complete. They then have to pass the state board licensure exam. A licensed physical therapist knows how to create and carry out the necessary program to help the body heal in the proper manner. Patients who hope their injuries heal effectively on their own are taking a huge risk. Attempts to perform self-rehabilitation without a trained physical therapist usually don’t deliver proper results.
2. SPORTS SPECIFIC INJURY PREVENTION
At Zarett Rehab and Fitness we have developed a comprehensive sports specific injury preventive program. This program breaks down the sport into movement segments and trains the athlete by simulating those movement patterns for injury prevention. Nevertheless, if an injury does occur, the previously completed injury prevention training minimizes the extent of the injury and recovery time. As such, the preventive benefit of physical therapy should not be overlooked.
Many athletes come to us at Zarett with goals of improving their performance. The foundation for this training regiment is provided by a thorough evaluation. This evaluation provides us with neuromuscular strengths and weaknesses and helps us create an individual athlete’s physical profile. This profile can then be matched to the individual’s specific sport. Areas of deficiency in flexibility, muscular strength and endurance can then be targeted by a specific training routine.
We constantly update and change our methods of treatment and rehabilitation based on the latest research to assist the athlete in his/her pursuits. The above listed benefits show what can be gained from physical therapy and its huge importance in injury recovery and athletic performance.