A Sports Rehabilitator is an individual who has graduated from a degree-level Sport Rehabilitation course. These are run over 3 or 4 years at the end of which the graduate is entitled to use the initials GSR as well as the standard BSc (or BA) awarded for every degree.
What is Sports Rehabilitation?
Sports Rehabilitators are governed by their association, The British Association of Sports Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRaT). Sport Rehabilitators must be members of BASRaT in order to practice and use the professional title GSR. Membership also covers public liability insurance. In order to maintain their membership and insurance a Sports Rehabilitator must complete a set amount of Continued Professional Development (CPD - attendance at courses and seminars etc) over every two year period.
Unlike a sports therapist or massage therapist, a Sports Rehabilitator must have a degree from an accepted university (Short courses and other forms of qualification are not acceptable). There are currently 6 institutions which teach the Sport Rehabilitation degree course. These are:
- St Mary's College, Twickenham
- University of Salford
- University of Middlesex
- University of Hull
- University of Bolton
- Institute of Technology, Carlow, Ireland
What Does a Sports Rehabilitator Do?
Sport Rehabilitators work in the field of sports medicine and have been specifically trained to deal with injuries through every stage, from the initial onset through to late stage, return to sport rehabilitation. Although they specialise in sports injuries, they also treat everyday and occupational injuries and pain.
What Techniques do Sports Rehabilitator Use?
Sports Rehabilitators look at the body as a whole when assessing an injury. Assessment usually includes postural and biomechanical assessment, detailed history, muscle strength and flexibility testing as well as special tests for the injured area.
Techniques which are 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
- Return to sport/activity training
Where do Sports Rehabilitators Work?
Sport Rehabilitation is a relatively new profession, with the first courses opening in 1994. Due to increasing numbers of graduates and the promise of State Registration looming, Sport Rehabilitators are now working in more settings than ever. You will find Sports Rehabilitators working in sports injury clinics, health clubs and gyms and professional and semi-pro sports teams, especially Rugby Union, due to the support of the RFU.