With sports injuries, there's Physiotherapy, then there's Physiotherapy. The first kind will rub the injured area, maybe put a heat pack on, get you to do one or two exercises with some of the tubey bands, then off you go until you come back next week for the same thing. Before you know it, you're $800-$1000 out of pocket after 6 weeks and you're either no better, or it's just a matter of time before your symptoms return. And when they do, you just repeat the whole process.
The second kind of Physiotherapy is what we offer at Sports and Functional. Yes, manual therapy, soft tissue massage and trigger point release is a big part of our treatment in the clinic. In-depth examination, through both finding out the history of the injury and performing a careful musculo-skeletal examination will point us in the right direction as to how your injury needs to be treated.
When it comes down to the treatment of Injuries, it's crucial that a system be in place that can objectify your progress. This is particularly important when it comes to sporting injuries. Not only so we know that your injury is making progress towards being able to tolerate the demands of your chosen sport, but so that you also know that you're headed in the right direction.
Keep in mind, niggles are common. Sometimes a joint becomes inflamed, a muscle becomes sore, a back randomly spasms. These are all things which can be treated quite easily and may need only a very small number of physio sessions to address, maybe just one! They're the best type of injuries. Therefore, a lengthy rehabilitation program may not be warranted. A simple settling down of symptoms via some hands on work and light rehab may be all thats needed. Again, that is the importance of an in-depth objective/subjective exam, to identify whether it is just a niggle (fingers crossed), or whether you need more in-depth injury rehab programming.
Take an ACL injury for example, or even a Chronic Lower back Injury. We can use careful guidelines which are criteria based, to progress you through your rehabilitation, rather than rub your back or knee each week and give you some new exercises, cross our fingers and hope that it gets batter. For example, there are 6 main phases of ACL rehabilitation, which include strict functional criteria to pass each phase.
These phases are based on the research we have to date on ACL injury rehabilitation. How do you know the knee is strong? How do you know whether it can absorb impact? Or store energy efficiently to rebound safely when changing direction during tennis, or running? As we are located within the Southside Powerhouse Gym, we have access to the equipment to be able to test this accurately. Phase 6 is return to sport, and if you're passing the criteria to move onto phase 5, you can be a lot more re-assured that the new graft will cope when you expose it to high speed running and change of direction.
Periodization is often forgotten during rehabilitation. For example, getting back to playing tennis after a shoulder injury requires strength, stability, endurance, proprioception, control, power, mobility and efficient biomechanics. Often, you can't work on all of this at once due to a number of reasons. One being practicality (we don't all have 4 hours a day to train), but also due to the interference effect. This being that training one variable, e.g. strength), may interfere with the training of another variable (e.g. endurance) if those variables are being trained close together or in the same training session. Elite athlete programs will often be "periodized" to target different variables at different time periods (e.g. 4 week strength focused block, 4 week power focused block, etc). See our article on periodization and the interference effect
Subjective assessment also plays a very important role in sports injury management. Being able to identify movement impairments and technique deficits are crucial when rehabilitating an injury.
But without these objective markers to identify if you are ready to return to your chosen activity level, then you're beating a dead horse.
We don't muck around at Sports and Functional. Whether it's one or two sessions to settle down a lower back spasm, or an in depth rehabilitation program to return you to sports after a Shoulder Dislocation, you name it and we've got you covered at Sports and Functional Physio.
And if your injury requires a further opinion, whether it's an Orthopedic or Surgical opinion, or a review by a Sports Physician, we have can point you in the right direction to the numerous Specialists we work hand in hand with at Sports and Functional.
See below a list of common sporting injuries we treat in the clinic and feel free to message us to see if we can assist with your injury.