Treatments & Therapies

Treatments and therapies in sports medicine

Select from the options below for more information on various treatments and therapies used in the treatment of sports injuries.

On this page:

  • Cold therapy
  • Biomechanics & gait analysis
  • Strapping & taping
  • Sports massage
  • Electrotherapy
  • Medicaion & drugs
  • Types of therapist
  • Complimentary therapies
  • Medical imaging

Cold therapy

Cryotherapy is the application of ice or cold packs for therapeutic effect. In particular, the PRICE principles of PROTECTION, REST, ICE, COMPRESSION & ELEVATION are often important emergency first aid treatment for sports injuries. Before using cold therapy it is important to know the contraindications to ice or cold therapy which means applying it could be harmful to the patient. Cold is usually applied to acutely painful or inflamed sports injuries whereas heat is often more beneficial after the acute phase has passed.

The benefits of cold therapy include pain relief, reduced bleeding, reduced swelling and reduced metabilic rate. Cryokinetics is a rehabilitation technique involving ice application followed by progressive active exercises. Cryostretching is a technique where cold therapy is used in conjunction with stretching exercises.

Read more on hot & cold therapy.

Biomechanics & gait analysis

Gait analysisYou wouldn't build a house without getting the foundations right and it is the same with foot biomechanics and sports injuries. If your foot biomechanics are not right, this can lead to many other injuries including lower leg, knee, hip and back. Overpronation is where the foot rolls in or flattens too much causing the lower leg and knee to rotate inwards, increasing the risk of a number of injuries.

Read more on foot biomechanics.

Strapping & Taping

Strapping and tapingSports taping techniques are often used in sports to support weak or injured joints. Strapping and taping can help treating common injuries, such as shin splints, ankle sprains, knee joint injuries, shoulder and elbow problems. Sports taping techniques follow the same basic principles and use anchor points and support strips of tape to restrict specific movement of joints to relieve pain and protect injuries tissues.

Read more and view video demonstrations on strapping & taping.

Sports Massage

Sports massageSports massage is a popular form of treatment for soft tissue injuries. Getting a regular sports massage also forms part of many athletes injury prevention strategy. Before attempting massage it is important to check for contraindication which woiuld mean massage may be harmful. Contraindications include recent muscle strains, contusions, burns, inflammed bursas, thrombosis and more. The benefits of sports massage are physical, physiological and psychological. Massage helps increase blood flow to muscles and relaxes them which in turn helps with the healing and rehaiblitation.

Read more and view video demonstrations on sports massage.

Electrotherapy

Electrotherapy in sportElectrotherapy is the use of electricity as a form of treatment for soft tissue injuries. Electrotherapy for sports injuries includes the use of  Inteferential & TENS (transcutaneus nerve stimulation) which use electric currents to stumulate muscles, Ultrasound which uses high frequency sound waves transmitted into soft tissues, Laser (light amplification through stimulated emission of radiation) and Shock Wave Therapy.

Read more on electrotherapy.

Drugs & Medication

Drugs and medication are often used in sports medicine.  These include antibiotics, Aspirin, Codeine, Corticosteroids, Hyaluronic Acid, Ibuprofen, Morphine, Muscle relaxants and Paracetamol. It is important to get a doctors advice before taking any medication because they can be very harmful if taken when they are contraindicated.

Read more on drugs and medication in sport.

Types of Therapist

There are many types of therapist out there, all calling themselves something different, having completed different training and offering different treatments and services. How do you know which one to visit to meet your requirements? Or maybe you are thinking of training to work in the sports injury field and are not sure which profession to choose?

Read more on types of therapists.

Complementary & Alternative Therapies

Acupuncture - Treatments and therapies Complementary and alternative therapies include treatments not considered in the main stream. Many are used in addition to conventional medicine or as an alternative. These include Acupuncture, Acupressure, Aromatherapy, Floatation therapy, Myofascial release, Reflexology, Shiatsu and Reiki.

Read more on complimentary therapies.

Medical Imaging

Medical image methods are important for diagnosing many sports injuries. Imaging methods include Bone Scans, Electromyograph (EMG), X-Rays, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Echocardiogram, Bone Density Tests, CT Scan, MRI Scans, Nerve Conduction Studies and Diagnostic Ultrasound Scans.

Read more on medical imaging in sport.

This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.