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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 back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability.

It utilizes the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the participant for training, competition and where applicable, work.

What is a Sports Therapist?

Since its inception 25 years ago, The Society of Sports Therapists is frequently asked, 'What is a sports therapist?' Even now there is confusion which, not only causes problems, but in many instances misunderstanding about the knowledge and skills that this specific occupational group possess.

Therefore for clarification - A Sports Therapist is a healthcare professional who has the knowledge, skills and ability to:

The spectrum of expertise that a Member of The Society of Sports Therapists must possess is built within five key areas of competency related to injury and illness in the sport and exercise environment. These are:

Within each of these areas Sports Therapists and specifically those at Graduate level, are trained and educated in principles that have sound practical and evidence based philosophies with solid sport and exercise science foundations.

As such, Sports Therapists  are required to meet clearly defined competency levels which cover the breadth of the above areas and gives them the knowledge, skills and ability to work at all levels of the sport and exercise continuum.

More importantly:

Sport and Exercise Therapy is not just about Sports Massage. However, Sports Therapists will possess massage skills that are an integral part of their scope of practice.

Sports Therapists are not Physiotherapists, but Sports Therapists will apply "physiotherapy" skills because physiotherapy is defined as "the treatment of disease, injury or deformity by physical methods including massage, heat treatment, electricity and exercise, rather than drugs or surgery"

Consequently, Sports Therapists will apply many skills and modalities that are included within this list but in a sport and exercise perspective rather than a traditional healthcare context.

Sports Therapists are not just first aiders. More significantly they are first responders who have the training, knowledge, skills and expertise to provide immediate care in a first response role. Members of The Society of Sports Therapists are also required to show evidence that they are up to date with these skills, on an annual basis, in order to renew their membership.

Allied to their Sport and Exercise science knowledge, therapeutic abilities and understanding of sport, Sports Therapists, and especially Members of the Society of Sports Therapists, are capable and proficient in applying the necessary rehabilitation principles, to enable their patients to achieve the optimum levels of recovery, that their injury or disability will allow. As such, the journey from injury to a return to activities can be facilitated by professionals who have the knowledge, skills and science based principles to meet the needs of a clearly defined patient group. More importantly, Sports Therapists are, and should be, an integral part of the Sports Medicine family, complementing and reinforcing the excellent skills and knowledge also being provided by colleagues and other professions.


What is massage?

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.

Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.

Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it's geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.

Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.

Benefits of massage

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.

While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.

Despite its benefits, massage isn't meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you're trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

More information can be found on http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/massage/art-20045743


What is Orthopedic Assessments ?
Each patient is assessed for an accurate musculoskeletal diagnosis. This makes the treatment accurate and more effective and therefore provides a faster recovery.

Functional Movement Screening
As sports therapy looks at the athlete in motion, a more functional assessment needs to be made. In this particular clinic I use a programme of 7 exercises performed by the athlete to ascertain where the muscle weakness lies. There maybe a dysfunction between upper and lower body that presents an issue only in one area creating pain. A specific strength training programme is then written for the athlete aiming to correct the issues found from the screening.

Strength and Conditioning
Competing at certain levels lead to pushing the body through boundaries unknown to a young athlete and there fore will inevitably create an injury. Recovering and getting back into full competition strength will require a specific rehabilitation programme   and a prehabilitation routine. Using the training periodical cycles already well known in athlete training, various strength exercises are used to ensure total recovery in the muscle and minimal scar tissue.

Mind and Body
Meridian tapping techniques (emotional freedom technique) have been practiced for many years to unlock habits that are formed through traumas and poor training. The pressure points are the same used for Accupressure and chines medicine. This technique can be used alongside your training programme to correct poor habits and regain confidence. The outcomes are sometimes not obvious they maybe small at first. This technique is gentle and applied in the clinic or the comfort of your own home. Can be used alongside other treatments successfully.