As an athlete, you no doubt experience the occasional aches and pains. And though many of us are guilty of simply pushing through discomfort, the truth is that pain is a message from your body. Ignoring these messages can be detrimental to your training and performance, not to mention your overall health.
Because of this, it’s essential that you take steps to stay in peak condition. By giving your body the care and attention it needs, you’ll be able to stay healthy and active. This is where physical therapy comes in!
Listed below are 7 benefits of physical therapy for athletes. Once you’ve learned the rewards of receiving sports physical therapy, you’ll be ready to start today.
1. Injury Prevention
You don’t have to have suffered an injury to seek out the benefits of physical therapy. In fact, one of the primary benefits of sports physical therapy is that it decreases your risk of injury significantly.
How? Well, during your sessions with a sports physical therapist, you’ll work together to complete an injury risk assessment.
Using this assessment, your physical therapist will be able to design a custom program for you and your needs. They will help you develop a routine of stretches and other activities that will reduce the possibility of injuries specific to your sport.
Becoming familiar with these exercises will help you to prevent anything that could hinder your performance. This includes everything from muscle cramps to torn ligaments.
2. Enhanced Fitness
Every training program is different. After all, they’re designed on a case-by-case basis. But if your program includes cardio workouts, you could see an upgrade in your cardio fitness. As your cardio fitness improves, you’ll notice that your endurance and overall fitness progress as well.
In addition to enhanced cardio fitness, your physical therapist can assist you in improving your performance. All forms of physical therapy are beneficial, but working with a sports rehab professional is the best physical therapy for athletes.
It’s easy to pick up bad habits in terms of movement specific to your sport. In sports rehab physical therapy, your physical therapist will observe your movements. Through this process, they’ll be able to give you tips on developing better techniques in your particular activity.
3. Improved Flexibility
Flexibility and range of motion are key to staying in peak physical condition for everyone but are particularly important for athletes.
As an athlete, you put your body through extreme stress on a regular basis, which can cause joint stiffness and pain. And though joint stiffness might seem like a minor inconvenience, a decreased range of motion often means a dramatic decline in your performance and ability.
In sports physical therapy, you’ll learn how to build and maintain a high level of flexibility. This will not only help you to feel your best but will boost performance and reduce your risk of injury as well.
4. Injury Treatment
When you think of physical therapy, this is the benefit that likely comes to mind. Physical therapists are trained to provide non-invasive injury treatment, and those specializing in sports injury physical therapy are even better suited for athletes’ needs.
With the support of physical therapy, you’ll heal in the correct way, meaning you’ll regain proper form and avoid any lingering effects from your injury. Sports rehab physical therapy can also shorten your recovery period, speeding up the recovery process and allowing you to get back to your normal routine in less time.
Your physical therapist will have a variety of techniques at their disposal to get you back in the game, depending on your particular injury. For example, they might recommend a combination of stretching and range of motion exercises, or use dry needling to release tension deep within the muscle.
5. Pain Relief
Certain sports, such as football or hockey, involve a level of physically aggressive contact that requires pain-relieving measures to keep you in optimal condition and comfort. And the unfortunate truth is, opioid abuse is a serious concern for athletes. If you regularly deal with pain as a result of participation in your sport, consider physical therapy instead of reaching for painkillers.
Believe it or not, physical therapy can eliminate the need for other forms of pain management completely. By employing techniques such as dry needling, hot and cold therapy, and other tension relief methods, your sports-related pain can become a thing of the past.
6. Surgery Alternative
The need for surgery can be devastating for an athlete, as it’s typically highly invasive and lengthens your recovery period by a significant amount of time. But as we mentioned above, physical therapy is a fantastic non-invasive option for injuries and chronic pain in athletes. It’s such a great alternative, in fact, that it can allow you to bypass the need for specialized surgery.
With physical therapy, your recovery period will not only be reduced but you’ll also be able to recover at a lower cost. Now, not every injury can be treated with physical therapy. However, you might be surprised to learn that the list of common sports injuries that can be treated with physical therapy is quite long.
Because of this, it’s always a good idea to explore all of your options before opting for an invasive surgical procedure.
7. Post-Workout Relaxation
Though it’s a less impactful benefit than those listed above, the post-workout relaxation you can receive via sports physical therapy is a major reward. Using massage therapy, your physical therapist can help you to destress, both mentally and physically, after a hard day on the field or court.
A cool-down is essential after a strenuous workout, and sports rehab physical therapy can take your post-game routine to the next level. You’ll notice a decline in muscle tension, as well as enhanced rest periods thanks to greater blood circulation.
Take Advantage of the Benefits of Physical Therapy For Athletes Today
Maintaining peak physical condition is a must for any athlete. When you’re dealing with pain or an injury, you aren’t performing at your highest level.
Staying hydrated and eating a nutrient-dense diet is important, but if you’re looking for an extra boost, the benefits of physical therapy for athletes can be a game-changer.
Ready to improve your performance and overall health through physical therapy? Contact us to set an appointment with an experienced physical therapist today.