Technology revolutionized the world of amateur and professional sports. They know more about themselves than they ever have before. Simultaneously, the injury rates among amateur and professional athletes increased. More alarmingly, the injury rate increased among teenagers.
The injury rates increased the demand for sports physical therapy services such as those provided by Quan Medical PLLC in Wantagh, NY. It also evolved the job of the sports-focused Wantagh physical therapist. In many ways, the therapist is a sports trainer. They’re also healers.
It takes several years to become a professional who practices in the field of physical therapy. These members of the medical community attend college. They study a subject in science such as biology, pharmacology, or anatomy. After graduating from college with a bachelor’s, they gain hands-on experience through an internship.
Next, the professional returns to school to earn their Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Their education prepares them to take the licensure test, which consists of another set of requirements. Once they receive their license, the future therapist participates in a residency.
A medical residency puts everything together for the candidate. They test their knowledge; they also test their skills. Those who complete their residency become employable. The years of education and experience culminate into gainful employment. For the professional who wishes to practice on the sports side of the field, continuing education is a must.
The sports therapist wears many hats. First and foremost, they treat any injuries that their clients experience. Minor sports injuries take a week to heal. The average sports injury requires six to nine weeks of healing. Major injuries take three to nine months to fully heal.
Athletes are competitive individuals. It’s no surprise that they yearn to return to the competitive field promptly. However, returning to competition is the most common reason for re-injuries. Understanding the injury timeline is one reason why competitors benefit from the services of a sports therapist.
Once a therapist puts their client on the path toward healing, it’s time to impart wisdom on them. The next step is to develop a plan to prevent re-injury, or worse. This stage also seeks to prevent a new injury.
Since the introduction of technology into the sports therapy field, there’s no shortage of data. The abundance of information helps a therapist spot tendon overuse, lack of proper nutrition, and other potential issues. In addition, the data allows the therapist to optimize their recovery and return plans.
In Major League Baseball, professional pitchers no longer pitch complete games. Instead, their coaches and managers keep the pitchers on strict pitch counts. Anything above their set number denotes overuse. Thus, it’s up to the pitcher to maximize their time on the mound. If they deviate, they pull the pitcher from the game sooner than anticipated.
Another hat the sports therapist wears is of the psychologist. The modern athlete receives lots of mental health support from several resources including their physical sports therapist.
Here we explore seven reasons why athletes benefit from sports physical therapy at clinics such as Quan Medical PLLC.
Flexibility is important to athletes for many reasons. It keeps their bodies warm. In turn, it helps prevent pulled muscles that result in severe injuries. The longer the injury takes to heal, the longer the player remains off the field. It makes a difference on whether or not they continue their career.
A sports therapist helps their client understand when to stretch and how. Flexibility contributes to range of motion, proper posture, and balance. It prevents misalignment that contributes to unnecessary injuries.
Athletes who work with a sports therapist learn that flexibility comes in more than one type, such as static and dynamic. Muscle control, joint structure, and balance impact flexibility. Age, gender, and activity level determine flexibility too.
To improve flexibility, the sports therapist professional determines their client’s starting point. Then, they develop a plan to improve it. If it’s at a good place, they develop a plan to maintain it. Flexibility changes daily. It also depends on the time of day and weather. An athlete needs to be ready to play in all weather conditions regardless of season and game time. A sports therapist gets the athlete to the optimal point.
Building the right amount of strength also depends on several factors. Some competitors require bulk, while others must stay away from it. A short-distance runner maintains a healthy weight and a toned body. They build muscle but not enough to slow them down.
A professional football player that makes his money on the defense side requires extra bulk. It’s his job to reach the other team’s quarterback to force a fumble or record the sack for a loss of yards. The players tasked with protecting their quarterback on the offensive side require some bulk too.
Well-trained physical sports therapists understand how to help their clients build strength appropriate for their sport and competition.
Visiting a sports therapist after an injury is imperative for re-building strength.
Posture impacts sports performance. It goes beyond how a player stands on the field for extended amounts of time. Posture directly impacts balance. An athlete who slightly leans in the wrong direction risks their position. Not only does the competitor lose the advantage; the competitor also risks losing their career.
Good posture aids balance; it makes the skeleton and muscles stronger. For football players, they only see a few minutes of actual play every game. They stand stoically in their positions and go into action for a few seconds.
On the other hand, a tennis player is in constant motion when the ball is in play. Their posture as they run toward the ball, swing the racket, and make contact with the ball matters. Otherwise, they develop the aptly named tennis elbow.
Solid posture results from strong muscles and a thorough range of motion.
The initial sports physical therapy appointment evaluates the client. It’s the getting to know the patient stage. Thereafter, an examination takes place. For competitors, the evaluation phase is more in-depth. A therapist aims to know what kind of therapy their athletic client requires. Next, they find out their client’s current physical shape through the examination.
Finally, the sports therapist compares their client’s current physical status to what’s needed for excelling in their respective sport. They ensure that their client’s posture fits the demands of their sport.
If it doesn’t, they find out why. The prognosis leads to the diagnosis. Then the diagnosis leads to a sports treatment plan.
Past injuries impact future performance, especially for athletes. Competitors can’t outright admit that they fear re-injuring their hamstring, ankle, or arm. It affects their career and future contract negotiations. Therefore, turning to a Wantagh, NY sports physical therapist keeps the information private and a solution.
Advanced sports physical therapy clinics in New York and the rest of the United States integrate all aspects of the field into their practice. In addition, they integrate technology. The combination of therapy and technology helps the athlete optimize their performance.
For example, the combination of the two services improves the competitor’s coordination. Coordination helps an athlete’s reaction time. If they spot an opening on the field, they can act on it with more confidence and precision.
Mobility is an important aspect of performance too. Spotting an opening on the field is one thing. Acting on it is another. Execution adds a layer. The best athletes accomplish all three layers. To the spectator, these are incredible feats. Athletes and their therapists know that it’s a series of steps.
A sports therapist doubles as a trainer and medical team member. Optimizing sports performance includes other tools such as nutrition and mental health. Since sport therapy clinics combine technology and data with medical services, they’re in the best position to evaluate athletes as a total person.
The initial evaluation serves as the starting point. The examination confirms the client’s current health status. Information gathered from these two steps helps the sports therapist understand their client’s goals. They measure the difference between the starting point and the endpoint. In between, several expected outcomes take place.
It’s possible to improve strength through stretching and exercises. Proper nutrition is essential too. Some foods promote healing. Others delay it. If the athlete understands the best foods to consume, they’re well on their way to optimizing their performance.
Physical competitions require the mindset of a lion. Competing on a field with thousands watching isn’t for the faint of heart. The most confident competitor can lose its edge after an injury. Thus, mental health checks play a role in their recovery and future performance. Sports therapy clinics provide mental health checks as part of their well-rounded services.
Receive Recovery Support
The primary job of a sports Nassau County physical therapist is to offer recovery support to their clients. After the injury occurs, the therapist examines it. They identify the source through an evaluation and examination. The goal is to understand the extent of the injury to determine the timeline for healing.
An athlete who is a true competitor wishes to return to the field promptly. However, returning to the field before the injury is fully healed puts the competitor in peril. Several examples of athletes who returned too soon and took themselves out of their sport for good exist.
Thus, athletes benefit from the recovery support physical sports therapists provide.
Recovery support includes sessions aimed to hit expected outcomes. A hamstring pull requires between four to six weeks before it’s fully healed. Sometimes rest is best for this injury. The athlete benefits from alternating cold and heat compress on the area. Plus, they need to maintain the rest of their body’s strength.
Sitting out four to six weeks’ worth of games takes its toll on the competitor. Sports therapy helps keep their mind occupied and bodies in good shape.
Learn Injury Prevention Strategies
On the field in the middle of a competition, chaos ensues. The crowd is loud, the lights are bright, and the opponents seek to disrupt the other team’s momentum. It’s tough enough to remember the playbook, let alone injury prevention strategies. Nonetheless, a sports therapist teaches their clients to protect themselves in the middle of the competition.
When a ball travels toward the face of an athlete, their reaction time and reflexes cannot fail them. Strong muscles, a healthy brain, and their range of motion help them dodge the ball and the opponent headed toward them.
Learn about New Performance Strategies
The sports world and sports therapy world lean heavily on technology. Since it’s still new, it continues to evolve. The technology integrated into athletics is far from perfect. Plus, it delivers too much data. A new strategy easily becomes outdated in one year, and a new one replaces it.
Sometimes minor tweaks take place. The tweaks are sufficient for developing improved performance theories.
Professionals in the sports therapy realm stay on top of these changes too. Some clients turn to their Nassau County physical therapist for advice.
Time has shown that science is never settled. A few decades ago, carbohydrates were the face of evil. Later, carbs became an accepted part of an athlete’s diet. It’s worth staying up to date on the newest performance strategies with a grain of salt.
No two people are exactly alike. The same is true for athletes. Minor differences in their height, weight, and mindset mean that one strategy works well for one but not the other. Even if they’re on the same team, performance strategies don’t work as a one-size-fits-all plan.
The medical community has come to grip with this reality too. When the common cold sweeps an area, there are foundational ways to treat it. For more severe cases, customized ways to solve it are the best way to cure the ailment.
Customized sports performance therapy from a professional Nassau County physical therapist is a clear benefit an athlete reaps from the service. The position has evolved. It encompasses pain reduction and injury rehabilitation. In addition, the service integrates technology to optimize sports performance.
Quan Medical PLLC provides sports performance physical therapy services for amateur and professional athletes. To book an appointment with our Wantagh, NY sports physical therapist, call us at 516-898-7676. We also serve ? and varRegion. To gain more insight about our services, visit our website.
Here are some therapy-related links: