Sports medicine is one of the leading fields of medicines in the present times especially with the advent of competitive sports at an amazingly fast pace. The amount and high extent of such form of sports have further led to an increasing number of illnesses and injuries being experienced by the sportspersons.

In such a scenario, physical therapy has emerged to be one of the most result-oriented and preferred modes of treatment for the sportspersons.

In this section, we discuss the correlation between sports medicine and physical therapy and the role physical therapy plays in the treatment of sports-related injuries and disorders.

Physical Therapy – The Basics

Physical therapy is primarily defined as a science that strives to improve movement dysfunction, promote optimal health and functions of the human body.

At its core, physical therapy places human movement as central to health and well-being of mankind. It is widely regarded as the most important rehabilitative service needed in a community, integral to the treatment of most patients.

There are four major physical areas, in which physical therapy is believed to have a development role, including:

1. Musculoskeletal
2. Cardiopulmonary
3. Integumentary
4. Neurological

Sports medicine and physical therapy have been playing a very instrumental role in determining the positive state of health of sportspersons in the recent years.

Impact on Sports Medicine

As a mode of treatment for individuals in the profession of sports, physical therapy is provided by physical therapists who strive to achieve excellence in the science and art of rehabilitation of active patients.

A major section of physical therapists are trained to work in the field of sports medicine specializes in caring for most of the musculoskeletal injuries, especially those associated with athletics. Such instances include assessment and treatment of elbow and shoulder injuries, especially in the overhead athlete.

Sports medicine and physical therapy also benefit the sportspersons in the assessment and treatment of other joint problems which occur as a result of sport and activity. The most common types of injuries treated by a physical therapist include muscle strains, tendon injuries, overuse injuries and osteoarthritis.

Mode of Function

The fields of sports medicine and physical therapy are closely inter-linked and play an important role in improving the overall performance of sportspersons and preventing disorders.

A physical therapist basically examines patient’s medical histories and then assesses various factors associated to the patient’s individual case. These factors mainly include:

* Strength and state of health
* Range of motion
* Balance and coordination
* Posture
* Muscle performance
* Respiration
* Motor function

The treatment modalities often include exercise for patients who have been handicapped or immobilized and suffer from lack of flexibility, strength and endurance.

As a part of their endeavors, the physical therapists often encourage patients to use their own muscles to increase their flexibility and range of motion before moving on to more complex and strength-building exercises.