At The Brisbane Spine Clinic, we understand that athletes are required to perform consistently at a high level, placing a huge demand on your body during training. This can often lead to sports specific injuries as a result of the stress on your muscles, joints, and bones.
Physiotherapy is an increasingly broad discipline with many subspecialties, including sports physiotherapy.
Sports physiotherapy focuses on assessing and treating injuries relating to sports and exercise.
Your body benefits greatly from exercise. But it’s also vulnerable to injury. Sport demands a lot from your body, increasing pressure on your joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons.
If you enjoy a particular sport, you’ll do it often. If you play on a footie team, for example, you probably go to mid-week training, play matches on the weekend and stay in shape by jogging or going to the gym when you can.
You might experience an acute injury on the pitch if you twist your knee or collide with another player. Or you might experience an overuse injury.
Sports physiotherapy helps in four key ways:
- Relieving your initial pain and symptoms
- Identifying the deeper underlying causes that have made you vulnerable to injuries, such as biomechanical or postural difficulties
- Post-injury rehabilitation to strengthen your body and reduce the risk of repeat injuries
- Enhancing your sports performance by improving your technique and getting your body into top shape.
At The Brisbane Spine Clinic, we treat your symptoms to relieve your pain. But we don’t stop there. We go deeper to identify any underlying causes or risk factors that have made you more vulnerable to injuries. And we work with you on post-injury rehabilitation to strengthen your body and reduce the risk of further sporting injuries.
Sports physiotherapy benefits athletes of all levels who are keen to maintain top physical condition and looking for a program to maximise muscle function and sports performance.
If you’re a sports and fitness enthusiast, then it’s often wise to incorporate regular sports physiotherapy into your training regimen.
That’s because sports physiotherapy isn’t just about treating injuries. It’s also about preventing them and addressing underlying issues of posture, biomechanics or technique to help you perform at your peak.
This may involve:
- Load monitoring and management
- Gait analysis
- Running re-training or other improvements to technique
- Postural training
- Orthotics to correct biomechanical imbalances
- Diet, nutrition and lifestyle advice
- Conditioning exercises.
Sports physio may also help with:
- All types of sport-specific injuries
- All types of posture-related conditions
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Low back pain
- Any overuse sports injuries
- Rotator cuff tears
- Tennis elbow
- Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Hip and knee pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis.
After taking a detailed history and conducting a thorough physical examination, we’re able to determine the right cause of treatment, which may include:
- Dry needling
- Joint manipulation
- Conditioning exercises
- Shockwave therapy
- Occlusion therapy
- Ultrasound-guided injections
The wrist is an underappreciated, complex joint that may be injured through:
- Trauma – falling on an outreached hand
- Overuse – moving your mouse, gripping your racquet or doing push-ups can all hurt your wrist over time.
Physio for wrist pain may involve:
- Fitting you with a customised brace or splint to immobilise your wrist while it heals
- Massaging the soft tissues around your wrist
- Mobilising your joints
- Relieving pain using ultrasound, TENS machine, heat packs or ice
- Prescribing exercises to improve your strength and range of motion.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the soft tissues underneath your foot. It’s commonly experienced as an overuse injury after prolonged strain due to factors like overtraining, poor biomechanics or tight calves.
Physio for plantar fasciitis may involve:
- Taping the foot to offload the plantar fascia and aid recovery
- Dry needling of the calf muscles and plantar fascia
- Mobilising the foot or ankle joints
- Prescribing exercises to stretch and strengthen related tissues
- Recommending orthotics to support the foot arch and reduce the risk of recurrence.
Many sports rely on the knees to absorb impact when running or to allow sudden changes of direction in sports such as soccer. Knees may be injured by overuse, trauma or degenerative conditions.
Physio for knee pain aims to increase the strength and mobility of your knee joint. Your treatment may include:
- Strapping or bracing your knee to offload it for a time
- Hands-on treatment to massage muscles or mobilise joints
- Exercises to improve strength and flexibility
- Ensuring you’re using correct technique when running, pivoting or landing after a jump.
Tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis to give it its proper name) is an overuse injury that occurs when the tendons in your arm become inflamed causing pain around your elbow.
Physio for tennis elbow may involve:
- Taping to relieve load
- Hands-on treatment to reduce inflammation and promote movement
- At-home exercises to gradually improve strength and range of motion.
At The Brisbane Spine Clinic we take a holistic approach to treating sporting injuries. We’re not only interested in relieving your symptoms but in understanding why you were vulnerable to that injury and how best to strengthen you and enhance your future performance.
Several members of our team have additional training in sports physiotherapy and a special interest in helping athletes of all levels to do well at their chosen sport. We know it’s frustrating when you’re prevented from participating in the sport you love and we aim to get you back on the field as soon as possible.
Whether you’re an elite athlete, a weekend warrior or someone who simply enjoys kicking a ball around with friends, sports physiotherapy can help you perform at your best.