Sports therapists are experts in musculoskeletal disorders. They treat pain and injury through hands-on treatment and rehabilitation. Sports Therapists undergo an intensive three-year degree course which focusses primarily on the musculoskeletal system and on restoring, maintaining and maximising movement to relieve pain and increasing quality of life.
A sports therapist will:
- Assess and diagnose injuries
- Deliver a personalised treatment plan to maximise movement and physical independence
- Teach patients how to reduce pain and manage chronic injuries
- Implement rehabilitation programmes
- Teach patients how to stay fit and well
The treatment, to aid recovery include:
- Massage, body work and mobilisations
- Electrotherapy modalities
- Varied stretching techniques
- Biomechanics analysis
- Patient education
- Exercise programme
The regulating body of Sports Therapy is The Society of Sports Therapists (SST), who describe the profession as:“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 utilises the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the participant for training, competition and where applicable, work.”
Sports therapists generally have more exposure to sporting environments at an undergraduate level making them ideal for preventing sports injuries through specific strengthening programmes.