Benefits Of Physical Therapy To Athletes
Benefits Of Physical Therapy To Athletes
FitnessSeptember 29, 2022 Benefits Of Physical Therapy To Athletes By Louise Smithson Physical therapy is the use of exercise and physical activities to help condition muscles and restore strength and movement to an individual. It helps… Read More

Physical therapy, as a discipline, heavily emphasizes exercise and physical activities that contribute to muscle conditioning, restore strength and movement to an individual, and help rehabilitate injuries. Athletes, in particular, benefit greatly from physical therapy in Denver. This treatment method helps them in several ways, from preventing injuries to speeding up the recovery time of an injury.

A crucial support for an athlete, aside from their athletic trainers, is having a healthy and supportive relationship with their physical therapist. For an athlete who needs an edge in competitive sports, training hard requires an extra hand from a trained professional. It is necessary for an athlete, just like in medicine, to have a physical therapist by their side that can diagnose and assess body movement, provide accurate injury diagnoses, consider risk factors, and customize plans for personal treatment. They work together like a mechanic making sure a car's engine works smoothly and the supporting body parts remain strong. The therapist seeks to examine and evaluate the individual's movement and features to train and strengthen their muscles effectively. They look into:

  • The cause/history of the injury
  • The challenges and goals of the patient
  • The injured tissue or joint
  • The extent of joint/muscle mobility
  • The strength of supporting muscles

Why Is Physical Therapy Beneficial To Athletes?

Physical therapy is a means by which professionals assess and treat physical dysfunction resulting from an injury, disability, or medical condition. The benefits of physical therapy for athletes can be numerous and include:

Improving Flexibility

Athletes need good motion and flexibility for the sports they usually participate in. The joint's ability to move effectively through various actions determines how flexible an individual is. Physical therapy is an effective method of improving an athlete's flexibility to reach their full potential safely and prevent hyper-flexibility, leading to injury.

During physical therapy, the muscles, exercises, and treatments expected to improve an athlete's flexibility to reach their full potential become the primary target.

Faster Recovery Time

Injuries cannot be avoided for active athletes, which is why physical therapy is essential. Rehabilitation programs are set up with specific injuries in mind, and therapists customize these programs as needed. They ensure rapid range of motion, reduce pain, and restore strength. Athletes can, therefore, return quickly to the playing field by limiting the extent of the injury. The various stages of rehabilitation for sports injuries include:

  • Reducing pain and swelling
  • Restoring joint mobility and range of motion
  • Restoring muscle strength and endurance
  • Recovering coordination
  • Recovering movements specific to a sport
  • Returning to the sport

Improving Physical Wellbeing

Physical therapy is not only essential for athletes but also for everyone seeking to live a healthier life. Having a physical therapist is an encouragement to take care of one's body better, making healthy choices such as developing proper exercise habits, learning healthy stretching techniques, eating healthy food, etc. It fosters improved wellbeing overall.

Increasing Physical Strength

Most athletes require ways to maintain and increase their strength for outstanding performances. Physical therapy helps strengthen muscles, ligaments, and joints, generally leading to increased physical strength. It enables an individual's ability to endure high stress for some time during games or matches.

Preventing Athletic Injuries

Dislocated joints, muscle and ligament sprains, fractures, tendon tears, and sometimes head injuries are common among athletes. These injuries could result from insufficient warm-up activities, lack of proper equipment, inadequate training methods, and more. They prevent athletes from performing optimally in their sports.

The benefit of physical therapy, in this case, is that it educates athletes on various techniques to consider to avoid injuries. These could include:

  • Effective warming up and cooling down
  • Proper stretching techniques
  • Ensuring enough rest and healthy nutrition
  • Evaluating safe periods for resuming strenuous activities

Improving Balance

Balance is an essential aspect of any sport, and physiotherapy can help athletes improve in this area. Poor balance leads to injuries and may hinder performance. Physical therapy helps athletes to improve their balance and coordination through exercises that challenge their balance. This can lead to better on-field performance and a reduced risk of injury.

Avoiding The Need For Surgery

A primary benefit of physical therapy is the ability to help individuals manage pain and improve movement problems. Some pain and movement problems can become chronic and lead to surgery. However, physical therapy reduces the symptoms of many conditions that could lead to surgery. It can keep many problems from getting worse. Physical therapists can help you avoid the need for, and the costs and risks of surgery.

Research shows that physical therapy is as effective as surgery for some conditions, including:

  • Meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disk disease

Types Of Physical Therapy For Athletes


This is a specialized program designed to prevent injuries in athletes of all levels. It begins with a detailed evaluation of the client, including jump testing and a physical therapy evaluation. The evaluation consists of strength testing, range of motion measurements, and a full-body screening. The jump analysis will be conducted by our licensed physical therapist, certified in the Sportsmetrics program, and the results will be discussed in detail with the client. The Sportsmetrics™ program is six weeks long and consists of a series of jumping plyometric drills with proper instruction and teachings on the appropriate and safe way to land to decrease the risk of ACL injuries (a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the knee). Not only does the Sportsmetrics program help reduce the risk of injury, but it can also enhance athletic performance.

Exercises/Corrective Exercises

Physical therapy programs that include exercise and corrective exercise plans are designed to improve strength and flexibility, range of motion, and balance. Such programs can be achieved with the help of a physical therapist.

It is known that participating in exercise has several health benefits contributing to mental and physical well-being, besides weight management.

Corrective exercises mainly target faulty movements that can cause pain or injury. They are designed to guide individuals through a customized exercise program that fits their specific needs, providing relief from pain without medication.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy improves blood flow, relieves muscle tension, and reduces inflammation. It is developed to help with muscle systems used for a particular sport. Sports massage uses varying approaches to help athletes in training - before, during, or after sports events by promoting flexibility and helping prevent injuries. It may help muscle strains, aiding in healing after a sports injury.


Devoting time to rest is essential and non-negotiable for athletes. Lack of proper recovery can prevent an individual from achieving their goals and decreases performance. Rest and recovery are underappreciated and underutilized training variables critical to optimal performance and injury prevention.

Physical Therapy For Athletes

Physical therapy is beneficial for anyone who has suffered an injury or has limited physical abilities. It supports the body in healing, resulting in outstanding athlete performance while maintaining a healthy life. It is an essential element of healthcare directed at improving pain, mobility, and the ability to perform daily tasks and recreational activities with minimal complications, movement impairment, or restrictions. Athletes who frequently experience pain should seek the help of a physical therapist. With hard work and dedication from the athletes and therapists, recovery can be achieved.


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