The basics of sports physical therapy
- Sports physical therapy is a medical specialty focused on improving performance, preventing injuries and returning athletes to play after injuries.
- Our sport therapists are highly trained in evaluating sports injuries and conditions, treating soft tissue problems, individualizing rehabilitation programs and educating athletes on preventing sports injury.
- Our comprehensive sports physical therapy programs also offer sport-specific training to ensure peak (and healthy) performance.
- We work with all athletes in any sport, including running, tennis, cycling, golf, pitching, swimming, football, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, surfing and more.
Move forward, faster, fearlessly
What is sports physical therapy (sport therapy)?
Sports physical therapists provide active care for active patients, assisting recreational athletes and professional athletes to be healthy and perform at their highest level.
This specialized area of sports orthopedics is referred to as sports physical therapy, return to sport programming and sports training. The goal remains the same: not only treating sports injuries (acute and chronic) and helping athletes recover, but also preventing repeat injuries and improving performance when returning to the sport.
Our sport physical therapists employ exercise and sport science principles in progressive treatment plans to prepare the injured athlete to return first to training, then competition. Our sport therapists are skilled at injury and condition evaluation, treatment of soft tissue problems, and designing and implementing rehabilitation programs.
All of our therapists active in our sports programs are driven by evidence-based solutions and proven treatment techniques. Designated physical therapists are certified sports therapists with special training and education.
Sports therapy services: from performance training to injury prevention
We offer comprehensive physical therapy services, including those below, to help athletes play safely, stay healthy and achieve their best.
- Sports performance and conditioning tailored to specific needs.
- Strength training.
- Functional body/movement analysis.
- Mobility and stretching programs.
- Running or gait analysis.
- Manual therapy techniques.
- Return to sport evaluations.
- Injury treatment and sport-specific rehabilitation.
- Concussion rehab program.
- Injury prevention advice and patient education.
We also offer more specialized programs, including the following.
Specialized sports performance training
We offer specialized sports performance training for running, tennis, cycling, golf, pitching, swimming, football, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, surfing – virtually any sport.
Each activity puts specific stresses on the body and requires specialized training for peak performance. Our sports physical therapists understand the musculoskeletal needs of each sport and work closely with athletes to increase the strength and agility they need.
Speed and agility training
The goal of this training is to make sure the athlete’s reconditioning therapy has prepared him or her for the demands of sports activity. Before beginning speed and agility training, athletes must meet functional requirements that include full range of motion and strength, as well as the ability to perform such functions as hopping and jogging.
The athlete undertakes a progression of drills focusing on speed and agility, moving from an initial phase of straight running, to running with direction changes, and finally the ability to make unrestricted directional changes and absorb impact. The client’s sports therapist employs objective criteria before determining that a safe return to sports is possible.
High school sports partnerships
Spine & Sport Physical Therapy is proud to work in partnership with high school sports programs. This includes education for teams on injury prevention and strength and conditioning training for each specific sport. We are working with schools to provide physical therapy professionals at games for optimal performance, injury prevention and immediate treatment when necessary.
What are the common sport injuries we treat?
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 2.7 million sports injuries led to emergency room visits in 2020. When accounting for injuries that do not involve emergency room visits but are seen by doctors in office, sports and physical therapists or injuries that are self-treated, that number is significantly higher.
The two main phases of sports injuries are the acute phase, when an injury has just occurred, and the chronic phase, when rehabilitation is needed three months or more after the injury occurred. Our therapies address both phases. Overuse injuries happen after playing a sport or exercising over a period of time. In any case, most sports injuries occur as a result of muscle imbalances, weakness, overuse or overtraining, and improper movements or gear.
Different sport activities rely on different parts of the body or require different movements. So, injuries are often common but varied by activity types.
Some likely injuries needing sports therapy:
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and other ligament tears.
- Sprains and strains.
What to expect from sport physical therapy
Every athlete requires an individual intervention and testing program based on his/her goals and sport. At Spine & Sport Physical Therapy, athletes can expect a comprehensive evaluation along with a personalized training plan for prevention, rehabilitation or restoration of function.
Our sports injury and therapy program is designed to get patients back on track, healthier and more informed about their bodies. This greater awareness of the body, its functions, limitations and abilities allows athletes of all types to reach new peaks in fitness and live healthier lives.
Spine & Sport clinics offering sports physical therapy near me
All of our clinics in Southern & Northern California offer sports physical therapy.
Special pro athlete sports performance training services are provided at the following locations: