There is no doubt that sports are a great way to get exercise. A professional basketball player usually remains on the court for a full 48 minutes, and soccer professionals run at least seven or eight miles total in a complete game. Other sports like football, baseball and hockey require rigorous training, and several hours of practice. But the downside of sports is that they can be dangerous. Basketball players often sustain knee injuries and torn ligaments, baseball players are prone to shoulder injuries, and football players are known to suffer concussions. There is no way to entirely prevent these injuries from happening, but there are ways to facilitate healing, and one of the key ways to do this is through physical therapy at a sports medicine clinic or a physical therapy clinic. For athletes who are undergoing lower back rehabilitation, seeking recovery from arthroscopic shoulder surgery, or need help returning to their sport after posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, physical therapy can be critical. For this reason, this profession is expected to grow 36% by 2022.
Here are some of the benefits of physical therapy.
With any injury, athletes have a limited range of motion near or around the affected area. For a shoulder injury, it can take several weeks for patients to lift their arm up, or rotate it. Physical therapists are required to study the human body extensively, know how each muscle in the body works, and what exercises will increase mobility after injury. Using this knowledge, they suggest a wide range of movements that will improve an athlete’s condition. With lower back rehabilitation, shoulder surgery, or knee surgery, an athlete may have to stretch, do weight lifting to strengthen muscles, or walk for a period of time. Ultimately, these exercises increase a patient’s mobility.
- Avoid Re-Injury
Studies show that after an initial injury, the chances of an athlete re-injuring the same area of the body is fairly high. With the help of a physical therapist, however, these risks are reduced significantly. Not only are they able to help heal an initial injury, these professionals can also help strengthen the affected muscles or bones to avoid re-injury.
- Speedy Recovery
For the average person, arthroscopic shoulder surgery could take up to a couple of months to recover, and lower back rehabilitation for a back injury could take several months to heal. Physical therapists that work with professional athletes often cut this time in half with their knowledge of how to rebuild muscle and return mobility to a patient. This gets an athlete back on the field or court quickly.
For any athlete, injuries are not only painful physically, but they can be debilitating to his or her confidence. Physical therapists play a critical role in rehabilitating broken bones, and both major and minor trauma to the body, but they are also the key to restoring a player’s self-confidence.