What is the difference between a Sports Therapist and a Physiotherapist?
Sports Therapy is a relatively new and not as well known profession within healthcare. However, a Sports Therapist has studied and specialised in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries, whilst also having massage and first aid skills and qualifications which can be used both within a sports setting, but are also transferable to be used out of a sports setting. Whereas a physiotherapist has covered a broad range of aspects of healthcare including but not at all limited to: pediatrics, respiratory care, cardiac patients and musculoskeletal injuries. Post graduation, physiotherapists tend to specialise in one of these areas of healthcare.
Why see a Sports Therapist if I don’t have an injury or play sport?
Every day tasks put a strain on your muscles and joints. Driving, desk jobs, manual labour, carrying children and so many more… All of these day to day activities can cause muscle tightness and joint stiffness, which may in turn lead to pain and injuries.
How can Sports Therapy help me?
There are so many ways that Sports Therapy can help you! Is stress at work giving you headaches? Tension in your shoulders from working at a desk or driving long distances? Have you got a little niggle that just won’t go away? Do you have a big event coming up that you want to prepare for? Or have you just done a big event and need a little bit of TLC? Sports therapy incorporates a wide range of techniques including deep tissue massage, stretching, joint mobilisation and kinesio-taping – so there is something to suit everyone.
How often should I see my Sports Therapist?
Each client is different and therefore so are their muscles and joints. Some people need few, or even just one session while others need more dependent on their reason for treatment. I do highly recommend regular treatments, even monthly will keep your body in tip-top condition and help to prevent any injuries from occurring.
What else can my Sports Therapist help me with?
Gait analysis (looking at how you walk/run and analysing why you are susceptible to injuries and more importantly, how we can change this), posture analysis and correction (especially for those of you who are sat at desk jobs all day!), spinal mobilisation and exercise rehabilitation for pre or post operation.
What should I bring with me to an appointment?
If your injury is related to the lower limbs, it is ideal that you come wearing shorts, and to also bring any footwear in relation to your sport/injury as this may be useful in identifying your problem. If the problem relates to the spine or the upper extremities, you may be asked to remove items of clothing so it is ideal to wear a loose fitting t-shirt and for females to wear a sports bra under their t-shirt. Your dignity will be maintained throughout and if you are not comfortable with removing any items of clothing you should make it clear to your therapist. A compromise will be made but you should acknowledge that you may not be able to receive treatment to its full potential.
What should I expect to happen during an assessment/treatment session?
First of all, your therapist will start by asking you a few questions in relation to your injury, sport, as well as some general health questions. Then, your therapist will performance your assessment by assessing your movement, flexibility, strength and performing some special tests if necessary to help identify your problem.
Your therapist may require you to perform some movements which may cause you discomfort, but should not elicit any large amount of pain. Your therapist will also talk you through the assessment and what they think your problem could be. This is to help you understand your problem too. Finally, any treatments/rehabilitation will be discussed with you prior to your therapist continuing with the session.
What if you cannot deal with my injury?
On rare occasions your injury may require surgery, or your therapist may require a specialist opinion to rule out any underlying health problems. In which case, I will make sure that you are referred on to the appropriate medical personnel who can help.
Can I pay by credit/debit card?
Yes! I accept cash, all major credit/debit cards along with contactless payments and mobile pay too.
Why do I get lower back pain and can you help?
4/5 adults in the UK experience lower back pain at some point in their life – accounting for an astonishing seven million trips to the GP each year! The majority of the time it is due to poor posture from incorrect lifting techniques, spending long hours at your desk or prolonged driving. This causes tightness in your hip flexors (thigh muscles) and create weakness in your buttock muscles and lower core muscles. These muscle differences can lead to a tilt in you pelvis which causes pain in your back.
Of course I can help! A series of recent published studies show that drugs and other treatments offered from the GP provide little benefit. Many are needlessly prescribed painkillers, spinal injections or even wrongly told to undergo surgery when research shows that simple manual therapy and exercises can be much more effective.
Does Sports Massage hurt?
A sports massage is designed to be deep tissue with the aim of relaxing and releasing tight and stubborn muscles. It shouldn’t hurt, but it may be slightly uncomfortable in more tender spots. Please let me know if the pressure is too much (or too little!) and I will adjust as needed. But if you ask any of my clients, they will describe it as good pain, I promise!
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture is a pain free treatment. The needles used are sharp and very thin which means that sometimes you won’t even feel them go in! It is important to stay still when receiving acupuncture as any contraction of muscles that have needles in can be painful. Your therapist will use the needles to stimulate the underlying tissues and you may feel a dull ache. If the sensation is too uncomfortable please let me know and I will take that needle out.
Does Cupping Therapy hurt?
Cupping therapy looks much worse than it feels – honest! When the cups are suctioned on you will feel some pressure and the treated area become tighter. Your therapist will stay within your comfort zone regarding the pressure on the cups. The cups stay on for around 10-15 minutes dependant on the area and the sensitivity of your skin. Massage is recommended following Cupping Therapy to help with lymph drainage. The circular red marks left from cupping should wear off within around 7 days after treatment dependant on your skin sensitivity.
Have another question that I haven’t covered here? Contact me and I’ll answer your questions.