What drives you to work hard? Is it the experience of victory? The longing to do better than you ever have in the past? The realization that you’ve accomplished a goal you’ve worked toward for so long? Our experts located in Lake City and Florence, SC can discover the origin of your injury, refine your mechanics, and prevent future sports injuries. What Are Sports Injuries? It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional athlete, a high school ball player or a weekend warrior, anyone can make a goal and push themselves to work toward accomplishing it. Your goal may be to run one mile or to beat your personal record in a full marathon. Whatever your goal, you can accomplish it by finding your inner athlete and pushing your body to its max. Sometimes, this process can lead to injury. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that only professional athletes get sports injuries. Young athletes typically learn early on that injuries can happen to anyone, and even amateur athletes and those who are just starting out with exercise and sports can develop an injury. In fact, those who are new to athletic pursuits are actually at a higher risk of developing an injury, as you have not had as much practice with the tasks and movements that are required of your body during the activity. The best treatment for a sports injury will depend on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the type of the injury, and any other personal health concerns that may have an impact on your recovery. Working with one of our physical therapists soon after experiencing an injury can help you to recover faster, helping you to get back to work and play as quickly as possible. Causes of Sports Injuries The way that physical therapy can help you after a sports injury depends a lot on the type of sports injury. Common sports injuries helped through physical therapy include: Shoulder injury, including hyperextension and dislocationTennis or golf elbowKnee injury, including torn ligament, strain, sprain, or hyperextensionSpondylolisthesis or sciatica injuryConcussion This list includes the most commonly addressed sports injuries, but it is far from comprehensive. Due to the heavy impact the knee experiences in many athletic pursuits, more than half of all sports injuries that are addressed in physical therapy are actually in relation to the knee. Patellofemoral pain syndrome is especially common. This occurs often due to poor mechanics along the length of the kinetic chain in the lower extremities, from the low back and hip all the way down to the foot and ankle. It may also be due to your natural bony alignment and increased stress to the patellofemoral joint with a sudden increase in activity levels. How Physical Therapy Can Help Sports Injuries Each of these injuries can be serious, and medical attention should always be sought out to determine the severity of the injury as well as the best treatment methods available. In many cases, physical therapy can be used soon after the initial injury treatment as a resource for speeding recovery and reducing pain. The specific strategies employed by physical therapy vary as widely as the type of sports injury. Exercise prescription is a common tool used for sports injuries across the board, and your physical therapist may also incorporate manual therapy techniques and passive modalities for pain management early on in your recovery. With this method, the physical therapist will guide you through a series of helpful exercises that are designed to build strength and functionality and will give you a list of exercises that you can engage in at home while you are building the strength back to be able to engage in your preferred method of activity. Never assume that you can manage a sports injury on your own. Doing so is only likely to leave you dealing with the pain and discomfort for longer than necessary. With the growing popularity of year-round sports, youth specialization, and the advent of CrossFit Games, ultra-marathons and even just community running groups, the number of sports-related injuries is, unfortunately, growing as well. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior, we know that some of the best moments in your life happen when you’re playing your sport out on the field or the court. While we never want athletes to sustain serious injuries at any time in their career, we know that no one is fully immune to the possibility. In the event that injury does occur, we offer programs designed specifically for your sport including basketball, soccer, volleyball, hockey, tennis, and golf. Our therapists can take you through a comprehensive rehab program with sport-specific instruction and training that will not only help you recover fully from your injury, but also optimize your performance when you’re ready to return to play. For more information about physical therapy to aid with healing from sports injuries, Contact Us today at Lake City, Florence, McColl & Camden, SC Centers.