What is Sports Therapy?
Sports Therapy is an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability.
It utilises the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the participant for training, competition and work.
What is a Sports Therapist? A Sports Therapist is a healthcare professional who has the knowledge, skills and ability to:
Utilise sports and exercise principles to optimise performance, preparation and injury prevention programmes
Provide the immediate care of injuries and basic life support in a recreational, training and competitive environment
Assess, treat and, where appropriate, refer on for specialist advice and intervention
Provide appropriate sport and remedial massage in a sport & exercise context
Plan and implement appropriate rehabilitation programmes
The spectrum of expertise that a Member of The Sports Therapy Association must possess is built within five key areas of competency related to injury and illness in the sport and exercise environment. These are:
Recognition & evaluation
Management, treatment & referral
Education & professional practice issues
Sports Remedial Massage Therapy
Sports massage aims to lighten the stress and tension which builds in the body’s tissues as a response to physical activities. Sporting injuries usually occur as a result of overexertion and massage works extremely well at breaking them down efficiently through the manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments and tendons.
The techniques employed by practitioners have been developed in such a way to ensure effective results are gained from each massage. Those who seek out this therapy for sporting performance will find that it can be of assistance throughout all stages of training, during and post competition as well as providing injury recovery and prevention. However, it is not just sports men and women who can benefit, sports massage has much to offer everyone. It is known to improve circulation and lymphatic flow as well as to helping the flushing out of metabolic waste and assisting the increase or decrease of muscle tone and length.
Sports massage has long been used by athletes to help heal and prevent injuries, it is also popularly used for pain and anxiety reduction and relaxation.
Benefits of Remedial Massage Therapy
Muscle and body relaxation
Detection and treatment of scar tissue
Improved recovery time
Relieves muscle tension.
Pre Event focuses on warming up the major muscles to be used and getting the athlete in a good mental state for competition and calms or stimulates an athlete depending on their sport. It also improves tissue pliability, preparing the athlete for top performance.
Post Event Sports massage is given after a competition and is mainly concerned with recovery. It is geared towards reducing the muscle spasms and metabolic build up that occurs with vigorous exercise. Recovery after competition involves not only tissue normalisation and repair, but also general relaxation and mental calming. A recovery session might be 15 or 20 minutes in length.