Sports Physical Therapy – The Four Phases of Sports Rehab

Whether you’re a casual weekend warrior or a professional athlete, injuries are just part of the game. A twisted ankle, pulled muscle or fractured bone can put you out of commission. Often times, the injury requires more than just rest and home treatment – it also needs professional sports physical therapy to heal properly.

Sports rehab involves a revolutionary process of treatments, therapies and tactics specific to the demands of athletes. It includes exercises and workouts that speed up tissue healing, strengthen weakening muscles and improve mobility. The goal is to help patients return to their favorite activities in the prime of their health.

Your sports therapist will carefully monitor your pain level as you progress through the phases of treatment. Initially, the treatment plan will focus on reducing inflammation and swelling through RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Your therapist will also help you to prioritize and implement self-care tips to speed up the healing process.

Phase 3 of rehabilitation focuses on increasing strength. This is done by using isometric contractions, elastic bands of varying resistances and free weights, or by manually stretching the injured muscle. In this phase, your therapist will also focus on balance and proprioception training. Proprioception is the ability to sense the position of your body in space without looking.

Phase 4 of sports rehabilitation is the bridge between acute injury and full participation in sport. During this phase, your physical therapist will work with you to reintegrate exercise and skills in your sport of choice to prevent injury from reoccurring.

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