The purpose of sports and rehabilitation physiotherapy is the proper management of an injury. It allows a safe return to their sporting activity of choice. Sports Physiotherapy is also proactive, helping prevent injuries before they occur. Preventative measures address stiff joints/muscles, muscle imbalances, and other movement issues.


Sports and Rehabilitation Physiotherapy - 6 Main Stages

Assessment and History Taking

The most important part is finding out what happened and how the injury occurred. From there, we can determine what structures are likely to be hurt. In our Burnaby physiotherapy and hand therapy clinic, we conduct a thorough history taking and assessment. We will use different orthopedic tests on the injury site and observe its movement and function. From there, we can determine the severity of the injury and how to best approach treatment. In some instances, we may recommend further medical imaging (X-ray, ultrasound, CT Scan, MRI, etc).

Reducing Swelling And Inflammation

With an acute injury and soft tissue damage, there is going to be inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural and normal response to trauma after an injury. But unchecked inflammation, poor circulation, and improper injury management can result in swelling. Swelling impedes proper circulation and slows down the recovery process. This can delay the patient’s return to sport.

An expert physio in Burnaby can provide a variety of modalities that help to improve circulation and reduce swelling. Effective Eastern techniques such as acupuncture combined with Western techniques like electrotherapy can help kick start the process.

Educating our clients to self-manage their sports injuries is extremely important. Icing, compressing and elevating the injury site can help reduce swelling and inflammation.

Recover Range Of Motion (ROM) nd Strength

Reduced range of motion and strength is a common problem after a sports injury. ROM is decreased because of swelling and associated pain. Injured soft tissues can be stressed and re-aggravated with movement. For a sprained ankle, for example, ligaments are stretched out and there may be some degree of tearing in those structures. As a result, swelling and inflammation occur. Extra stress or overstretching of those ligaments during the acute phases of injury can make it worse.

Your Sports Physiotherapists will work with you at each stage and help increase your ROM. This may consist of manual therapy to help reduce stiffness in the joints and other soft tissues. Further progressions involve teaching you specific stretches that you can do at home. Acupuncture is also a great tool to help stimulate the nerves involved. This can help create relaxation and improved blood circulation and speed up healing.

Decreased ROM pairs with a loss of strength for the injured region. Disuse, swelling, pain, and muscle inhibition are some of the common causes of weakness. In our Sports Physiotherapy Burnaby, we encourage the use of the injured area to reduce deconditioning. Depending on the stage of healing, different strengthening exercises will be given. As you improve, appropriate progressions are recommended to ensure optimal recovery time.

Gradual Loading Of Injured Areas

Remember the acronym R.I.C.E.? Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation?

Take out the R and replace this with O and L, Optimal Loading.

A common belief is that you need to rest completely after an injury. Unless you have a fracture or indicated by your medical professional, complete rest is not a good recipe for recovery. Instead, you should load the injured area to speed up the recovery process.  

Optimal loading in sports rehabilitation is guided by the extent of your injury, how you feel, and your Physiotherapist. This method in our sports physiotherapy Burnaby ensures that you prevent deconditioning of the body. Studies have shown that gradual loading and early rehabilitative exercises have shown to improve physical outcomes and successful return to sports.

In the early phase, you may be working on non-weight bearing exercises to limit the stress on acutely injured joints and soft tissues. As you improve, you may shift into partial or full weight-bearing exercises that are more stressful but not hurtful.

Sport Specific Rehabilitation

After restoring ROM, muscle strength, and endurance to the injury site, it is important to train the body under the stress of a sport-specific activity. Various sports require different levels of strength, endurance, agility, and movement patterns. In our Burnaby Sports Physiotherapy and rehabilitation, we will focus on the demands and needs of the patient’s particular sport. Sport-specific movements and exercises will be implemented to ensure that their previously injured body parts will be able to take the stress when they return to sport.

Return To Sport

For a sports rehabilitation physiotherapy program to be successful, all of those stages mentioned above must be included and optimized. While returning to the sporting activity is the main goal, the sports Physiotherapist also needs to make sure that the patient feels comfortable mentally and physically. The patient should not feel they need to do any compensatory movements (i.e.pushing off more on the uninjured leg) that may overwork and load another area.

If you have suffered an injury and don’t know where to start, give EastWest Physiotherapists in Burnaby a call!

Call 604 398 2936 and speak to any of our staff to learn more or schedule an appointment.
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