Game On: Sports Physiotherapy in Perth

A physiotherapist helps alleviate injury-related pain, accelerate the healing process and prepare the client’s return to every-day functional activities. Sports physiotherapy performs the same rehabilitative functions, but takes the treatment process one step further. Simply put, whilst physiotherapy helps the patient return to basic functional activities, sports physiotherapy helps the athlete return to advanced functional activities, otherwise known as “the sport.”

Sports Physiotherapy in Perth

If you require sports physiotherapy in Perth, the physiotherapists at Happy Physio have the skills to get you back in your game. In some cases, they might even help you improve your skills and prevent future injuries. Each member of the physiotherapy team boasts elite level participation in at least one sport.

The Role of the Sports Physiotherapy

Sports physiotherapy involves a physiotherapy practitioner who has an interest in:

  • Evaluation of sports injuries
  • Treatment of sports injuries
  • Rehabilitation of sports injuries
  • Performance Enhancement (following sports injuries)
  • Injury Prevention

Sports physiotherapy forms an essential component of a team, which usually includes the athlete’s doctor, coach and athletic trainer. If the coach or trainer witnessed the accident, he or she will report the biomechanics of the event, in order to give the physiotherapist an idea of the muscles and movement patterns involved in the injury. Meanwhile, the doctor might perform a set of x-rays and other types of tests to determine whether the athlete will require surgery.

Armed with the information supplied by the doctor and the coach or trainer, the physiotherapist selects the appropriate course of treatment. Since getting the athlete back into his or her game is the primary goal of sports physiotherapy, the performance enhancement stage is the most important part of the therapeutic process.

Performance Enhancement: Training the Chain

Back in the olden days, most of the physio-therapeutic treatment protocols emphasized muscle isolation exercises. The leg extension machine is a prime example. The exercise is performed in the seated position as a quadriceps isolation exercise.

The client simply sits, places his or her feet under a set of rollers, and raises his or he legs to a 30, 45 or 90-degree angle. Can you think of any athletic activity that uses this movement? Probably not! Granted, the earlier stages of sports physiotherapy might warrant some muscular isolation exercise, but this type of conditioning only has a minor, if any effect on sport-specific skill.

The dynamic pattern theory of motor learning represents a progressive, evolved theory of sports physiotherapy. This philosophy of training states that your brain does a much better job at learning, memorizing and integrating patterns of movement, as opposed to muscular isolation exercise. Thus, a sports physiotherapy for dancers program might consist of movement patterns that include the types of kicks that might appear in a typical choreographic segment. In contrast to the leg extension machine, these movement patterns incorporate an entire team of muscle groups, including her hamstrings, gluteal muscles and core stabilizers.

“Train the chain” is the motto for this training and rehabilitation philosophy. In Sports Physiotherapy the physiotherapist must determine where the movement pattern initiates, how it follows through, and where the movement  completes itself. In fact, faulty movement initiation patterns are often the cause of an injury.

Let’s stay with the dancer example. Dancers require turn-out, or external rotation at the hip joint. Turn-out, unfortunately, is easier said than done. Many dancers compensate for lack of turnout by forcing their knees to assume the position, thereby stressing the joints of the knee, hip, ankle and lower back. A sports physiotherapy for dancers program might teach her some hip-mobilizing exercises, followed by movement patterns that require hip initiation.

Post-Rehab Exercise: The Final Frontier

An athlete’s treatment does not end with sports physiotherapy.  Your physio will recommend a fitness plan that suits the movement patterns of your sport. Fortunately, Happy Physio provides an expert 1 on 1 training and Clinical Pilates service, which will help you make the most of your athletic skills.

Call Happy Physio at (08) 9272 7359 now and let our expert Sports Physios help you.