Although many think of Sports Therapy as being Sports Massage they are very different. Sports Massage is simply a component of Sports Therapy; although Sports Therapists may use Sports Massage techniques as part of their treatments there are many other aspects to Sports Therapy. Sports Therapists are trained to assess biomechanics (how the body moves) and identify movement patterns which may be causing your pain. We are also trained in rehabilitation, being able to design and implement rehabilitation plans for our clients. Sports therapists will often work with sports teams and are trained in emergency first aid and trauma care which they will use working pitchside at sporting events.
Sports Therapists are trained to assess and treat both sports and non sports related injuries. A typical assessment would involve asking the client to perform certain movements such as squats, lunges and gait (walking) analysis - as well as any movements you are currently struggling with. This is to enable us to look for any bio-mechanical deficiencies or muscle weaknesses which may be contributing to your condition. If a weakness is identified then this will be further investigated with the intention of getting to the root cause of your problem. For older clients or those suffering an acute injury, the assessment will be modified to match your current ability.
Treatment will involve the use of various hands on soft tissue techniques including massage, stretching and joint mobilisations. These hands on techniques are used to help the client out of pain and improve function. Following the reduction in pain, various stretches and strengthening exercises are give to help your strengthen weak areas which may the underlying cause of your pain. The aim is to help you get back to function with the intention of keeping you that way and not simply having the injury return. Although Soft Tissue Therapy and massage can be very effective at reducing pain there are times when strengthening exercises are required in order to stop the pain returning - and this is were Sports Therapists are specifically trained.