Sports Medicine is a general term used for the process of managing the care of athletes who have suffered a sports-related injury. This process begins with acute care management on the playing field with an athletic trainer. Some athletes will be referred to a sports medicine physician and may need to be referred to physical therapy for rehabilitation. Professional Physical Therapy’s licensed athletic trainers and sports medicine physical therapists specialize in helping athletes return to their sport in a safe, effective and efficient manner.

Sports Medicine services at Professional Physical Therapy:

  • Athletic Training
  • Sports Injury Rehabilitation
  • Manual Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Flexibility Training
  • Return to Sport Testing

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Some Common Questions about Sports Medicine

Sports that require the athlete to run, jump and pivot are the sports commonly associated with traumatic injuries to the knee and ankle. In the knee, a common soft tissue injury would be ligament sprains such as Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) sprains. Ankle inversion sprains are also a very common type of sprain where you “roll your ankle”. Knee and ankle ligament sprains often respond very well to physical therapy. Some other common sports injuries that benefit from physical therapy include: Achilles tendonitis (back of heel pain), patellar tendonitis (commonly called “Jumper’s” knee), plantar fasciitis (foot pain), and patellofemoral pain (kneecap pain), lateral epicondylitis (elbow pain on the outside commonly termed “tennis” elbow), and medial epicondylitis (elbow pain on the inside commonly termed “throwers” elbow pain).

The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is a very important ligament in providing multidimensional stability to the knee and if you want to return to a sport that requires running, jumping and pivoting, then having ACL reconstruction may be the best choice. You and your surgeon can determine the best option. If surgery is not the initial option, and the acute pain and swelling has subsided, then aggressive physical therapy for strength, balance, and coordination training is highly recommended. If you decide to have reconstructive surgery, then your physician and Professional Physical Therapist will work closely together on post-operative protocal for the rehabilitation of your knee.

The shoulder joint has a large amount of motion to allow for throwing and reaching/lifting activities. This means that in order for the joint to be stable, the muscles have to work very hard during these activities. The primary muscle group that provides the shoulder stability is the rotator cuff and which is made up of 4 muscles and their associated tendons. Throwing can be very stressful on the rotator cuff, and if you experience pain in the shoulder region when throwing, then it is possible that you may be straining your rotator cuff. If rest does not provide relief, then you may need to get examined. A physical examination by a sports medicine specialist is the first step. The common diagnoses we see for athletes who have shoulder pain when throwing would be tendonitis of the rotator cuff, tendonitis of the biceps, damage to the labrum (cartilage), or instability (looseness) of the joint.

Yes, a true sports medicine approach to get an athlete back on the playing field usually involves close communication between the referring physician, the athletic trainer and the physical therapist. Each professional must have a good understanding of the physical demands of your sport in order to ensure a safe return to your sport. At Professional Physical Therapy, our physical therapists and athletic trainers are educated in managing sports injuries from the time they occur on the field, through the rehabilitation process and then return to sport.

Athletic Trainers are certified health care professionals who collaborate with physicians and physical therapists to optimize activity and participation of their patients and clients. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, evaluation, treatment and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities. A Certified Athletic Trainer can be found almost anywhere people are physically active. Some typical work settings for ATCs are secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports, hospitals, clinics and sports medicine facilities, military and law enforcement, performing arts and industrial settings. To become a certified athletic trainer, one must graduate with a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited professional education program and pass a board certification exam. Most states also require licensure to practice.

Convenient physical therapy clinics near you

We provide sports medicine and treatment for sports injuries from our physical therapy clinics throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.  Fill out the form above, or contact a clinic near you to speak with a Professional Physical Therapist and sports medicine specialist today.