Other Article: How Physical Therapy Can Help Manage Sports Injuries
When players experience sports injuries, they turn to physical therapy for rehabilitation. Physical therapy, also called physiotherapy, can help whether or not a player has surgery to correct the injury.
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An example of one of many sports injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. This is an injury to the knee. It is one of the common sports injuries for people who play sports that challenge the knee, such as field hockey, skating, skiing, basketball and, of course, soccer. It can limit a player’s range of motion in that leg and cause weakness in the leg.
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For these sports injuries, surgery is sometimes done, but physical therapy is always part of the treatment. The three main exercises performed to initiate the healing process of the ACL are heel slides, quad sets, and straight leg raises.
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Heel slides are exercises that are easy to understand for treating ACL sports injuries, but can be painful to do at first. People simply lie on the bed or floor with their feet facing down. Then, slide the foot slowly toward the hip until it hurts a little, then slide it back. This and other exercises help prepare the knee for surgery, or to heal without surgery.
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Another type of sports injury that physical therapy is used to treat is tennis elbow. You can get tennis elbow from playing tennis, but it can also come from any activity that involves twisting your wrist.
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A sports injury like tennis elbow can be treated with a comprehensive physical therapy program. Exercises will be explained and assigned. Another common treatment for sports injuries is the use of ultrasound. Ultrasound is a way to get heat deep into the muscles to relieve pain.
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Electrical stimulation can be used so that pain is not felt through the nervous system. It is used for tennis elbow and many other sports injuries. Massage and manual therapy can also be used in physical therapy.
Massage is one form of soft tissue manipulation. However, soft tissue manipulation does to muscles what chiropractic does to bones. It deals not only with muscles, but also with tendons and connective tissues. It is a specialized area of physical therapy that has been used many times for people with sports injuries.
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As many children’s sports teams are becoming more competitive, so are sports injuries in youngsters. Often, well-meaning parents will tell their children to shake it off and keep playing. It is more important for children to receive adequate physical therapy than it is for adults. Children are just developing, and problems in childhood can lead to a lifetime of pain.
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Some sports injuries occur because something physically traumatic happened to your body. For example, when someone hits you while you are running toward the end zone with a soccer. Other times, it is simply a matter of what you are asking of your body.
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Physical therapy is helpful in the healing of many sports injuries. Many professional sports teams have physical therapists on staff. In fact, both cruciate ligaments and tennis elbow can become permanent conditions if physical therapy procedures are not used.