Physical Therapy for Sports Injuries

October 18th, 2012

Sports injuries are a very common part of any athletic activities.  These are normally caused by improper warm ups, training habits and accidents.  Physical therapy for sports injuries is a good treatment to ensure that the athlete will be able to go back to normal activities after sustaining any injuries.

Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments connected to the ankle joints are overstretched.  Although sprains are common in sports injuries, they are also very common in everyday activities.  This injury happens when the ankle joint experiences an unnatural twisting motion as the foot is planted in an awkward position.

Physical therapy for sports injuries like this can be done at home.  RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation should be the first approach.  The primary goal is to reduce inflammation and pain.  Resting the injured ankle will prevent further injury and additional stress on the inflamed tissue.

Applying ice is a home good treatment for physical therapy for sports injuries as it can effectively help in reducing swelling and pain.  Compression should also be applied for support and can also help with inflammation.  The injured area should also be elevated, above the heart level.

ACL injuries are also very common sports injuries.  ACL or anterior cruciate ligament injury happens when the knee ligament that joins the lower and the upper bone leg together is torn.  Depending on the severity of the injury, it could a small or a total tear.  Physical therapy for sports injuries especially for ACL should include flexibility and strengthening exercises and endurance activities.  The goal of physical therapy in this case is for the injured muscles to regain its the strength before the injury.

Physical therapy for sports injuries can also be performed for surgeries for the ACL.  It is recommended that the affected area should be rested for about two days after the surgery.  It should be elevated and ice packs applied to prevent swelling and reduce pain.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy for sports injuries involving surgery would normally take months.  For ACL, main treatment goals are to restore stability and strength of the injured body part.  Education on how to prevent re-occurrence is also included.

Exercises for physical therapy for sports injuries includes quad sets, hamstring curls, heel slides and straight leg raises.   These exercises can help strengthen the knee and help in regaining mobility to the post ACL surgery knee.

A physician’s referral and recommendation is a requirement before doing any physical therapy for sports injuries.