Benefits of Physical Therapy for Athletes

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Injury is an unfortunate but predictable result of competitive exercise and an active lifestyle, particularly for athletes participating in contact sports such as football and hockey. Learning how to care for these injuries and when to seek professional medical assistance is critical to getting back in the game as soon as possible. If you live in Colorado and an injury or lingering pain affects your ability to lead an active lifestyle, you may want to consider contacting a Denver sports therapy provider. Professional physical therapists can play a significant role in your recovery, regardless of injury type or sport. 

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy programs offer athletes and other individuals who are managing extended pain or discomfort the treatment they need to perform a complete recovery following an injury. If you recently went through a medical or surgical procedure at any point in your musculoskeletal system, physical therapy may be a valuable aid to your recovery. If you strained a muscle, pinched a nerve, or landed on your ankle incorrectly, these treatment programs may also prove to be beneficial. 

Unfortunately, many individuals who are recovering from an injury aren’t aware that physical therapy appointments may be a reliable treatment option for their situation unless it’s specifically recommended to them by a doctor. The end result of physical therapy is to get the patient back to full health while improving their strength and range of motion over time, regardless of existing health conditions. Physical therapists customize treatment plans for each of their patients so that they have the care and attention they need to get back in the game as soon as possible.

Key Benefits of Physical Therapy for Athletes

Physical therapy treatment plans come with a range of benefits for competitive athletes but can still improve the overall health and wellness of anyone who exercises regularly. Here are a few of the primary benefits of seeking the aid of a professional physical therapist. 

Reduce Pain and Discomfort

Full-service physical therapy clinics offer patients a range of treatment options that help to reduce pain and discomfort in areas of the musculoskeletal system experiencing the effects of an injury. All physical therapy treatments are non-surgical and non-invasive, which means there’s little to no risk associated with this form of care. A customized mix of hands-on treatment, massage therapy, stretching, and guided exercise can help to minimize the effects of joint, nerve, or muscle pain that would otherwise affect your lifestyle. 

Professional Symptom Monitoring

Throughout your recovery process, you’ll likely meet with your physical therapist more than a few times. After your first session, you’ll be able to check in with a medical professional who’s already familiar with your symptoms and can actively measure the success of your recovery. The specialized attention you’ll receive allows your therapist to suggest new treatment options that directly respond to the pain you’re experiencing and your movement abilities. 

Restore Mobility and Range of Motion

Physical therapy treatments directly assist patients with continuing their active lifestyles and habits with deliberate movements and stretching that won’t interfere with the affected area. Your mobility, along with your overall range of motion (ROM), plays a significant role in your athletic performance. Treatment plans that focus on restoring your range of motion are particularly valuable following an ACL tear or muscle strain, as they can prevent swelling minimize stiffness. 

Decrease Injury Recovery Times

Whether you’re experiencing the symptoms of a sports injury, a car collision injury, or general aches and pain, physical therapy treatment plans can reduce your recovery time and bring you back to 100% health. If the continuing effects of an injury affect your day-to-day life, it’s time to seek professional assistance. If medications and expensive medical procedures are too much to handle, either personally or financially, reach out to a physical therapist as soon as possible to discuss non-surgical alternatives. 

Lower the Risk of Further Injury

Physical therapy treatments can prove to be effective in preventing further related injuries by retraining your muscles and joints. Recovery from sports injuries usually takes at least four weeks but can often take upwards of six months. The worst possible outcome for many individuals is reinjuring the same affected area of their musculoskeletal system. An experienced physical therapist can let you know when it’s safe to get back on the field and when it’s best for your health to continue physical therapy treatment. 

Minimize Discomfort Following Surgery

Joint and knee surgeries can take several weeks or months to recover from, regardless of the fitness or age of the individual. While these medical procedures can be incredibly valuable for athletes, they often leave the patient with extended discomfort and reliance on painkillers or other over-the-counter medications. Care from a physical therapist doesn’t cause any negative side effects. As a supplement to your formal medical treatment, it can prove to be a valuable tool.

Improve Your Overall Performance

Upon completion of your physical therapy treatments, you may feel significantly better than you did before the injury. The best physical therapists for athletes provide care that keeps the patient moving and using their muscles wherever possible. This ensures that the transition back to competition or independent exercise is efficient and straightforward. 

Get Back in the Game

An experienced physical therapist can offer you the treatment and pain relief you need to recover from almost any sports injury. Care options include Kinesio taping, dry needling, massage therapy, and coordinated exercises. Unfortunately, sports injuries are often a part of the game, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from leading an active lifestyle. In the event of a muscle strain or sprain, a physical therapist can help you get back on your feet and back in the game.