Athletes today often find themselves dedicating more time than ever to their chosen sport. With more time spent training, the risk of injury increases and the need for sports therapy becomes more likely. It almost seems counter-intuitive, though, because athletes today are taking better care of themselves with diet and avoiding bad habits. However, this drive to always be bigger and stronger can inadvertently end up with rehabbing in sports therapy.
Too much specialization
The era of a two-sport professional athlete is long over. The last great athlete who played more than one sport professionally was Bo Jackson 30 years ago. We teach our children from a young age that if they want to excel at a sport, that they must dedicate their lives to it and avoid the distraction of other activities or sports that may take time away from training.
The problem with this is that muscles operate under the idea that you use it or lose it. Playing only a single sport can leave out using certain muscle groups. For example, baseball players may develop the strength of their throwing arm and neglect their non-throwing arm. Soccer players may have strong legs, but weak upper bodies. Sports therapy can help reduce these imbalances and make an athlete more well-rounded to help reduce future injury risk.
Too much muscle
Some athletes will incorporate strength training to make sure that all muscle groups are exercised, but this can be taken too far. While it is relatively easy to increase muscle mass, it is much more difficult to strengthen the joints, tendons and ligaments that support and connect muscle tissue.
Baseball players throw harder than ever, and targeted strength programs have helped them achieve those velocities. However, with that increased speed comes increased strain on ligaments leading to a rise in torn elbow ligaments and surgeries. While sports therapy can help an athlete recover from this injury, moderating muscle gain may reduce the risk of ligament damage.
Sports therapy at Continuum Wellness
The passionate physical therapists of Continuum Wellness are experts in helping athletes with their sports therapy. Plans are individualized to the patient and may include:
- An analysis of the injury factors
- Body mechanics analysis through the use of video
- Assessment of strength, range of motion and flexibility
If you have suffered a sports-related injury, contact Continuum Wellness today to set up your initial consultation.