Between local youth and adult recreation programs, collegiate athletics at the University of Oklahoma, and professional teams in the vicinity, many people in Norman, Oklahoma, play sports. Athletics offer many benefits, including improved physical health and fitness. Ironically, sports are also a major cause of injuries, which is why Norman physical therapy makes treating sports injuries a top priority.
Why Athletes Can Benefit From Physical Therapy
Playing sports and participating in athletic activities puts a lot of pressure on the body. Top athletes push their bodies to the limits in trying to become the fastest and the strongest. Sometimes, an athlete puts in too much effort and pushes past the limit, which is when injuries occur.
Nevertheless, it is not only the most serious athletes who experience injuries. Professional and collegiate athletes have a lot invested in their sports careers and make efforts to prevent injuries. Amateur athletes do not always train or prepare before a competition. As a result, their bodies are not ready to meet the demands of amateur competition, which may occur on an irregular basis. Therefore, amateur athletes may be at even greater risk of an injury than more serious athletes.
There are two kinds of sports injury physical therapy. The first is preventive therapy which is designed to help athletes avoid injury. For example, many injuries occur due to joints pushing beyond their normal range of motion, which can stretch the soft tissues and sometimes tear them. Physical therapy can increase flexibility so that a joint has greater range of motion and is therefore less likely to become injured. Overexertion of the muscles can lead to strain injuries, but physical therapy can strengthen muscles and help them work more efficiently so that it takes more to damage them.
The other type of physical therapy is rehabilitative, to help athletes recover after an injury occurs. A severe sports injury can end an athletic career and possibly have a negative effect on other aspects of a person’s life. The goal of rehabilitative physical therapy is to return to a pre-injury condition, or at least as close to it as possible. Ideally, the injured athlete recovers completely and can go back to playing sports, but even if that is not possible, physical therapy may at least minimize negative effects of the injury on other aspects of a person’s life.
Treatments That Have Proven Super Effective
You may be wondering, “What will happen when I attend physical therapy near me as an athlete?” It depends on your treatment goals and whether you have an injury that needs rehabilitation or you intend to undergo preventive physical therapy.
Many sports injuries involve the musculoskeletal system primarily, so you may receive a course of orthopedic physical therapy specific to your sport. Your therapist may also recommend re-education in an exercise program focused on the neuromuscular or cardiovascular systems or to increase endurance.
Manual physical therapy involves a literal hands-on approach. It can be used to promote healing as part of a rehabilitative approach, but it may also enhance the function and mobility of a muscle in the interest of preventing injuries and improving overall performance.
Find a local physical therapist who treats sports injuries.