Overview of Sports Physical Therapy:

When it comes to getting sports-related injury treatment, sports physical therapy has been shown to be one of the best treatments. It helps patients with a sports-related injury restore return to their sport or activity safely. The process of regaining strength & function can be short or long depending on your sports injury, but fortunately, with sports physical therapy athletes can be restored to their full health.

Sports Injury Conditions Physical Therapists Treat:

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are painful and can limit the motion. In addition, it can prevent a person from enjoying normal activities, let alone sports activities. Sport physical therapy can help improve ankle range of motion, strength, and stability and restore the full functional mobility.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions that cause heel pain. It includes inflammation of a thick back of tissue that connects heel bone to toes (plantar fascia) and runs across the bottom of the foot. It usually causes stabbing pain that occurs the first things in the morning.

Knee Strain & ACL Tears

ACL tears are one of the most commonly injuries that occur among sportspersons. It usually occurs in sports that include sudden stops or change in direction, jumping or landing, like football, basketball, soccer, skiing and so on. Many patients feel or hear a ‘pop’ in the knee when an ACL injury occurs; knee swell, feel unstable, and become painful to bear weight.

Runner’s Knee

ITB Syndrome

ITB syndrome is one of the top causes of “Runner’s Knee” and accounts for almost 22% of injuries in runners. ITB or Iliotibial band syndrome is commonly caused by activities where knees are bent repeatedly, like running, hiking, cycling, and walking long distance. IT band is a thick bunch of fascia (fibers) that runs between iliac crest in the pelvis to the outside part of thigh crossing the knee. ITB syndrome may result due to a combination of various issues, including poor flexibility of muscle, poor training habits, and mechanical imbalances in the body.

Golfer’s & Tennis Elbow

Golfer’s & Tennis elbow causes pain and inflammation in the tendons that connect the forearm and elbow. The pain centers at the bony bump on the inside of the elbow and can radiate up to the forearm. Golfer’s elbow is usually caused due to overuse of the forearm muscles. Both injuries happen as a result of repetitive strains on the tendons.

Back Pain

Accidents, strains, and sports injuries may be one of the most common reasons for back pain. Lower back pain among athletes can impact their ability for active participation in sports. The pain in such conditions radiates from tailbone area and runs through the thighs.

Hip Impingement

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket-joint where thigh bones meet pelvis. Typically, the ball glides smoothly within the socket, but any issue with the ball or socket rim can interfere with the motion. Repetitive hip flexion can damage the cartilage of the socket leading to hip impingement.


Shoulder Injuries

Though the main shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, the shoulder socket is very small. It is held together and controlled by a bunch of tendons that form a capsule around the joint and facilitates the movements. Inflammation, damage to tendons, tensions in the muscles, and tendons around the shoulder, inflammation in bursa may cause shoulder injuries.

Signs & Symptoms of Ankle Sprains

  • swelling
  • bruising
  • tenderness
  • pain varying from mild to severe
  • inability to put weight on the affected ankle
  • skin discoloration
  • stiffness

Signs & Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

  • Heel pain and tenderness of the sole
  • Difficulty in walking, especially just after waking up from sleep
  • Sharp and severe heel pain
  • Swelling of the bottom of the foot
  • Symptoms appear acutely by following an athletic activity

Signs & Symptoms of Knee Strain & ACL Tears

  • A loud “popping” sensation in the knee
  • Severe pain and incapability to continue activity
  • Rapid swelling
  • Loss of range of motion
  • A feeling of instability with weight-bearing

Signs & Symptoms of ITB Syndrome

  • Sharp pain just above the outer part of the knee
  • Pain that worsens with continuance repetitive activities, like running
  • Swelling over the outside of the knee
  • Pain during knee bending
  • Gradual onset of symptoms which if persist for greater than four weeks can cause major sport or activity interference.

Signs & Symptoms of Golfer’s & Tennis Elbow

  • Pain that radiates from the center of the elbow and runs down your forearm
  • Tenderness on the outside of your elbow
  • Weakness in the forearm that can lead to a weak grip
  • Pain when you grip things, twist something or, if you play tennis, especially with backhand strokes

Signs & Symptoms of Back pain

  • Muscle ache
  • Shooting or stabbing pain
  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking
  • Pain that improves with reclining

Signs & Symptoms of Hip Impingement

  • Stiffness in the thigh, hip, or groin
  • The inability to flex the hip beyond a right angle
  • Pain in the groin area, particularly after the hip has been flexed (such as after running or jumping or even extended periods sitting down)
  • Pain in the hip, groin, or lower back that can occur at rest as well as during activity

Signs & Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries

  • Pain at during rest at night
  • Pain when lifting and lowering your arm or with particular movements
  • Weakness when lifting or rotating the arm
  • Crepitus or crackling sensation when moving shoulder in certain positions

What Can You Expect When You Get Sports Physical Therapy?

Physical therapists are trained in human anatomy, and pain management techniques that can help an injured sportsperson to get back to the game faster. They often specialize in specific body parts, like shoulder, heel. For specific sports injury, it is best to get sports physical therapy from someone who is expert in treating sports-related injury.


Understanding your sports injury

There might be several reasons for your sports injury, like rigorous training or practice, sudden changes in movement, jumping or thumping, etc. Different kinds of sports injury can give rise to pain and hamper your day-to-day activity. So, before your therapist signs up for a treatment, it is important for them to understand the underlying cause of your sports injury, pain, or stiffness.

What Makes Your Sports Injury Better or Worse?

Various factors, like your body posture, how you life weights, how often you’re training, what type of surfaces are you running on, are you warming up properly.Do you feel pain while sitting or sleeping? After your athletic activity? During it? Are there poses that make your pain worse? Here are some factors that can worsen your sports injury:

  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive motion
  • Bad sleep habits
  • Not Warming Up
  • Improper Show Wear
  • Delay in appropriate treatment

How Long Have You Endured?

Unfortunately, the more you bear the injury, the more condition will get worse. Some patients endure the sports injury for several years, and it is not until it worsens that they try to find out the real cause behind it. Ignorance can convert a regular injury into serious one. So, your therapist will take account this fact before recommending a treatment.

What Treatments Have You Tried?

There are several treatments, like heat and cold pack, surgery, medication, etc. you might have tried before approaching a physical therapist. Your therapist will take account this fact before starting the next course of treatment.

Depending on the type of sports injury you have and the real cause underlying it, your therapist may recommend specific treatment to you. Once you sign up for physical therapy, the therapist considers all the treatments you have tried.

  1. Physical Examination

Your therapist will inspect the affected body part for any visible injury or deformity.

  1. Range Of Motion Testing

Gross range of the affected body part is tested. Range of motion is the measurement of movement around a particular joint or body part. To have a full range of motion, your joints and muscles should have good flexibility. This step may include the use of specific instruments by your therapist.

  1. Muscle Strength

This step includes use of muscle strength grading scale which enables your physical therapist to assess how a muscle is functioning.

  1. Detecting the Cause of Your Injury

There may be one or more reasons that cause you sports injury. Your therapist will detect the major causes of injury before s/he determines the most appropriate treatment.

  1. Functional Testing

The major goal of physical therapy is to help patients get back to their normal life as soon as possible. Functional testing involves different activities to provide a baseline for assessing progress to compare performance.

Sports Physical Therapy Treatments:

Spinal Traction

Spinal traction is a kind of decompression therapy that focusses on relieving pressure on spine. It can be performed mechanically or manually and is a proven treatment to cure chronic back pain due to herniated discs, sciatica, pinched nerve, degenerative disc disease, and other back conditions.

Functional Exercise

Functional exercise allows individuals to perform everyday activities more easily without injuries. This targets the core muscles of the abdomen and lower back.


Taping is an improved version of sports tape that are used to assist the muscle function dynamically. It is done in order to relax overused muscles, facilitate an underused muscle which has been injured. This procedure reduces swelling and inflammation in a body part.

Active Release Technique

Myofascial Release

Myofascial release is a form of physical therapy often used to treat myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder caused by tightness in myofascial tissues.

Patient Education

Patients’ education regarding sports injury is very necessary in order to receive the right treatment. It is also required for the prevention of this condition.

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy techniques comprise a range of skilled passive movements to affected and stiff joints at varying speeds. This therapeutic movement intends to restore optimal function, motion, and movability.

Spinal Manipulation

Also known as spinal manipulative therapy or manual therapy, spinal manipulation syndicates the practices of physical therapy, massage, exercise, and moving joints. It is done to relieve pressure on joints, improve nerve function, and reduce inflammation. Spinal manipulation is often used to treat sports injury.

How To Get Started With Sport Physical Therapy?

Are you suffering from sports injury? Luckily, one of our sports physical therapists can help you with your injury.

Call us directly at 239-223-0484, or click here to inquire about cost and appointment availability.