Health blog

5 tips that can keep you out of sports physical therapy

July 13th, 2022
Sports Physical Therapy

People of all ages and skill levels enjoy playing sports, and for good reason. Participating in sports benefits both your physical health and your mental well-being and is also an important social activity for many people. Unfortunately, sports-related injuries happen every day and can put you on the sidelines before you know it. The CDC estimates that over 8 million people suffer from sports- and recreation-related injuries each year. Out of those 8 million reported injuries, over 36% required emergency medical attention.

Physical therapy is an effective way to help speed recovery and improve your function after an injury. However, the best treatment for sports-related injuries is to prevent them altogether. 

How can I prevent sports related injuries?

Prevention is always the best treatment. Experts in sports physical therapy recommend these five tips to help keep you out of the physical therapist’s office and keep you in the game:

  1. Don’t skip the warmup — Stretching and doing some light exercises before training or competing can help prepare your muscles for activity. Warming up is aptly named because these stretches and exercises cause the muscles to heat up. Muscles that are heated up are less prone to strains.
  1. Strengthen your core — A strong core will help you to maintain good balance and gait while exercising and playing, which helps to prevent injury. Abdominal crunches and planks are both excellent exercises for strengthening your core.
  1. Stay hydrated — When you aren’t drinking enough water, your muscles become worn out much sooner than they would if you were hydrated. Your muscles will be more prone to strains and other injuries in this state. 
  1. Check your condition — If you are practicing for the first time after the offseason, paying a visit to your physical therapist before an injury may help you prevent one altogether. Your physical therapist can help to pinpoint any balance issues, muscle weaknesses or other trouble areas that you should work on before you play.
  1. Cool off after you play — Icing down after a game or practice is a great way to help your muscles recover more quickly, reduce swelling and prevent inflammation. Ice also helps reduce lactic acid buildup, which contributes to that feeling of sore muscles the next day. Sore and inflamed muscles are at greater risk of becoming injured.

Where can I turn if I’ve been injured playing sports?

If you need help recovering from a sports-related injury or you want help in preventing one, the experienced team at Rehab Access Physical Therapy has you covered. We are ready to help speed your recovery and get you back in the game. We can treat a wide variety of sports injuries, including:

  • Repetitive motion injuries.
  • ACL tears.
  • Strains and sprains.
  • Plantar fasciitis. 
  • Tennis elbow.
  • Tendinitis. 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.