Sports Therapy

Sports Therapy bristol
Sports Therapy Bristol
Sports Therapy Bristol

What is a Sports Therapist?
Sports Therapy is a 3 year degree covering modules enabling clinicians to screen and prevent injuries before they happen, as well as diagnose and treat injuries using a range of tests and methods.


Sports Therapists also rehabilitate patients using gym and exercise programmes and can create return to activity programmes to prevent reinjury.


Their goal is to identify, rehabilitate and return the patient to a better condition than they were in before injury.

What is the main role of a Sports Therapist?
To diagnose, treat, rehabilitate injured individuals so that they can return to activity in a better condition than than they were pre-injury. Sports Therapists can treat all members of the active population.

What can Sports Therapists treats?
Sports Therapists are trained to deal with all muscle and joint injuries. Whether that’s a big traumatic injury such as a broken bone in sport or a small niggling pain that has been going on for a number of years while walking.

What is the difference between a Sports Therapist and a Physiotherapist?
There are a few major differences, the biggest being the focus point for injuries. A sports Therapy degree consists of 3 years learning about the musculoskeletal system and all injuries involved with it.

A Physio's degree covers the same thing but only for one module, this is because a Physio also learns, in detail, about other systems in the body, such as your heart. This makes Sports Therapists, as a whole, more qualified to deal with injuries that derive from activity.

The second difference is that a Sports Therapist's degree is focused on sport and activity, where as a Physio's degree is more focused on a hospital setting. Sports Therapists therefore have a focus on returning to sport and activity, where as a Physio’s focus is on returning to function.

What is the difference between Sports massage and Sports therapy:

Sports Massage is a widely used treatment for helping with tension in muscles. Sports Massage is used in a Sports Therapy appointment mainly as a treatment tool, however an appointment with a sports therapist will cover a lot more.


Instead of just finding a tight area and relieving it, like with a sports massage, a Sports therapist look to find the route of the problem. This can be achieved by using a number of movement, muscle and ligament integrity tests. Once the issue is found, then the treatment begins.


The biggest difference between Sports Massage and Sports Therapy, however, is that a sports therapist will give you strengthening rehab exercises which won’t just involve stretching. As the root cause of a tight muscle tends to be as a result of weakness elsewhere which, although stretching helps, it won’t solve the problem. 


What should I wear to my Sports Therapy session? 

During a Sports Therapy examination, a Sports Therapist may ask you to perform a range of movements and different positions to find the site of pain.


A Sports Therapist will also use their touch to find the root of a problem. Therefore to help them assess you easier, our Sports Therapists ask that patients wear sporty/stretchy clothing, a t-shirt/vest top and shorts (or similar).


Wearing these types of clothing help a Sports Therapist during their examination, treatment and rehab as you'll be able to move a lot easier.


How long until I can expect to see results from Sports Therapy?

As a rule of thumb, Sports Therapists look at 4-6 weeks as being the time period to expect to see meaningful change to an injury. This is providing a client is doing their rehab, following a Sports Therapist's advice and coming in for regular treatment.


Some treatments will see results within a week and some may take longer. The rehab process is never black and white and there are countless reasons affecting the injury recovery time frame. For example, a younger person with a minor injury will heal faster than an older person with the same injury.


Other factors that can affect recovery speed are; previous activity levels, injury site/severity and (most importantly) willingness to do the rehab. If you don’t do your exercises, the issue will take a lot longer to overcome.


The other important take away is that if your Sports Therapy clinician doesn’t see changes within the time frame they expect, they will look to refer onto other people. Likewise, a Sports Therapy clinician won’t keep seeing you if they feel an issue is resolved. Their aim is to get you back to activity as quickly and safely as possible.


Can I do my Sports Therapy rehab from home?

All of our Sports Therapy programmes are designed for people to be able to use without a gym membership. Some small amounts of equipment like exercise bands can make the process easier, but our Sports Therapy clinician can easily provide exercises where no gym equipment is required.

Another factor is lifestyle. Our Sports Therapy clinicians are acutely aware that individuals do not have much time in a day. this will be a factor taken in to account ensuring the programme is right for ’you' and not just ‘your injury’.


What are the best tools for completing my Sports Therapy rehab if I don’t use a gym?

Common household items can be used for rehab but having some equipment does help the process.


Some useful recommendations are a set of exercise bands, a set of Thera bands, one weight (kettle bell or dumbbell) and a foam roller.


These pieces of equipment open you up to a wider range of exercises which can help to speed up the rehab phase, though, they are by no means necessary. 

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