In our last post, we answered some of the most frequently asked questions about physical therapy and sports–related injuries. Now, we’re going to take a closer look at the specific components of physical therapy programs for several common injuries in sports to give you a better sense of what to expect if you’re considering treatment.
As we mentioned in the first post, ankle sprains are often regarded as the most common injury in sports, with high rates seen particularly in basketball and soccer due to the frequent cutting movements involved. A typical physical therapy program for these injuries will include the following:
A lower back strain can develop due to different mechanisms in many sports. Pushing and pulling sports—like football—as well as sports that require sudden twisting of the lower back—like tennis, basketball, and golf—are all associated with an increased risk for lower back strain. Physical therapists generally approach these injuries with the following:
Strains of various leg muscles are quite common in several sports. Calf strains and hamstring are most likely to occur in sports that involve lots of running or high speeds, like soccer, basketball, tennis, and football, while groin strains tend to occur from kicking or turning suddenly, with high rates seen in soccer and ice hockey. Physical therapy for these muscle strains will typically consist of the following:
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain in adults, and it is especially common in long–distance running and hiking. Physical therapy generally includes these interventions:
Shoulder pain is extremely common in sports that involve overhead throwing—like baseball, softball, and football—as well as swimming and tennis. Most causes of shoulder pain involve the rotator cuff, with shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tendinitis, and rotator cuff tears being the most common culprits. Physical therapy for these injuries will usually include:
If you’ve recently sustained an injury in sports, we strongly encourage you to come in for a visit so we can get you started on a treatment program right away. Contact us for more information.