Sports Therapists treat not only 'injured athletes', but also deal with many common muscular complaints such as back pain, mobility problems, postural problems and work related conditions.
What is a Sports Therapist?
In sport, a Sports Therapist helps injured athletes return to full performance, after injury. Injury treatment varies according to the sport or activity involved. A qualified Sports Therapist advises on prevention of injuries and can examine, assess and treat those that do occur, as well as helping with the rehabilitation process.
At the moment in the UK, Sports Therapy is unregulated, a situation that is currently changing, with new Statutory Regulations being developed. Anyone can call themselves a Sports Therapist, or Sports Masseur, without even having a qualification. Some sports therapists have a diploma and others have a degree. A Sports Therapist differs to a sports massage therapist who generally, are not trained in rehabilitation exercises or electrotherapy and may only have attended a short course.
Sports therapists may be a member of The Society of Sports Therapists or the Sports Therapy Organisation or both. This includes public liability insurance and memebers are required to complete 10 hours of continued professional development (CPD) per year. This involves attending courses and seminars to keep up to date with advances and new techniques and research.
What Techniques do Sports Therapists Use?
Techniques which are often used in treatment include:
- Sports Massage
- Electrotherapy (Ultrasound/Interferential/TENS)
- Taping (Strapping)
- Muscle stretching techniques (including muscle energy techniques)
- Muscle strengthening
- Core stability training
- Proprioception training
Where do Sports Therapists work?
Sports therapists can be found in sports injury clinics, gyms, health clubs and professional and semi-professional sports clubs.