Sports Therapy

By: Kayla Downes

I read the book, The Injured Athlete by Daniel N. Kulund. This book showed how to do exercises to help with an injury that was caused by a sport. There are many ways to go about treating specific injuries. Injuries in the leg require a much different exercise program than an injury to the back would require. When an athlete is injured, there are several steps to take in order to find out how to treat their injury. The first step is to find out the medical information of the patient and then the physician must give the patient a physical examination. Then the physician asks what sport the patient was playing when they got injured. And of course the physician finds where the athlete is injured and gives them a medical release form for that sport. Once a patient is diagnosed with a specific injury they are sent to some sort of physical therapy or are required to do physical therapy at home on their own.

For some patients, surgery is the only way to fix an injury. A torn ACL for example usually needs surgery in order to reset it. After surgery patients sometimes go to physical therapy to help strengthen their injured body.

What is an athletic physical therapist?
An athletic physical therapist is called a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). They play a very important role in injury prevention, acute injury assessment and post injury rehabilitation. ATCs are trained in strengthening and conditioning, preventative bracing and taping, rehabilitation of injuries, nutritional counseling and emergency action planning.
Sports Physical Therapy Careers in Sports Therapy

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Different Treatments for an Injury:

Ice- by applying ice to an injury, the swelling is decreased along with the pain that is caused from the swelling of muscles.
Compression- wrapping an injured muscle tightly and elevating the limb limits venous pooling and encourages and assists venous return to the heart.
'ISE'- ice, stretching and exercise. Ice allows the athlete to exercise without pain and then the athlete can stretch after exercise without pain as well.
Contrast- applying hot and cold to the injury.
Heat- increases blood flow resulting in an influx of oxygen and nutrients.
Massage- this can benefit the athlete mechanically, physiologically, and psychologically. Some massage techniques include: stroking, kneading, percussion and friction
Electrical Stimulation- stimulation of the nerves and neuromuscular stimulators.

Therapy for the Athlete's Back:
Sacroiliac Dysfunction-
  • 'Upslip' of the ilium- pelvis is elevated on one side.
  • 'Downslip' of the ilium- pelvis is depressed on one side.
  • Anterior rotation of the ilium- mobilization techniques and muscle energy techniques to correct rotational faults of the ilium.
  • Posterior rotation of the ilium- mobilization and muscle energy techniques used to correct a posteriorly rotated ilium.
  • Outflare faults of the ilium- a compressive force near the anterior iliac crests of the pelvis bilaterally.
  • Inflare faults of the ilium- compressive force on the iliac crests laterally near the anterior iliac crest bilaterally to stretch the anterior sacroiliac ligament and gap the sacroiliac joint anteriorly.
Some Types of Foot Injuries:
  • Subcutaneous Bursitis
  • "Runners Bump"
  • Retrocalcaneal Bony Prominence
  • Os Calcis Stress Fracture
  • Os Trigonum Pinch
  • "Black Dot Heel"
  • Plantar Fascial Tear
  • Navicular Stress Fracture
  • Cuboid Subluxation
Therapy for Certain Foot Injuries:
Instep Bruise- apply ice and use whirlpool treatments
Metatarsal Stress Fracture- ice, compression, and a forefoot strapping.
Metatarsalgia- 0.25 inch rubber rocker bottom is placed in the sole of the shoe.
"Runner's Bump"- athlete works on heel cord stretching, using a heel lift and wears shoes with wider heel.
Artificial Turf Toe- to reduce forefoot motion, players should wear a firmer shoe with a spring steel or orthoplast forefoot splint.

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Kulund, Daniel N. The Injured Athlete. Virginia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1988

"Athletic Training Services." Select Physical Therapy. 2008. 2 Dec. 2008. <>

Nucleus Medical Art. 1999. 2 Dec. 2008. <>