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You may be wondering why many physical therapy clinics have not only physical therapy in the name but also sports medicine. How are they related? Are they related? Are physical therapists and those specializing in sports medicine interchangeable?

If you’ve ever wondered this, or even if you haven’t but you’re interested in learning more about either topic, stick around to learn what we at Pro Active Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine can do for you. 

Breaking Down Sports Medicine

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, sports medicine professionals undergo specialized training to help patients restore function so that they can move normally as soon as possible. They also work to teach patients how to avoid sports-related injury or illness, regardless of the patients’ activity level. Sports medicine healthcare providers often do work with professional athletes specifically, but they are also known to assist with children and teenage sports injuries. as well as helping adults who may just exercise casually.

It may be worthwhile to note that sports medicine is not a recognized medical specialty (such as physical therapy, optometry, radiology, and the like). Instead, those interested in practicing sports medicine often go to school and get certified in other general medical practices, such as internal medicine, family medicine, or even emergency medicine, to name a few. After obtaining those certifications, interested parties seek additional specialized training in sports medicine. 

The University of Rochester Medical Center also provided a list of potential reasons that someone may seek a sports medicine specialist, including sprained ankles, fractures, any sort of knee or shoulder injury, tendonitis, exercise-induced asthma, concussions, eating disorders, cartilage injuries, and various heat illnesses. 

Sports medicine providers are also educated in and can give advice on topics like nutrition, supplements, exercise routines, and tips for injury prevention. 

How Does Sports Medicine Coincide with Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy can be both preventative and restorative, much like sports medicine. You end up at a physical therapy clinic when traditional healthcare providers feel that more specialized care and treatment is needed. 

When you feel pain, you tend to recognize that it’s your body telling you something is wrong and something needs to change. If you ignore that warning, if you start to ‘live with’ the pain, a slow but sure breakdown will occur and general weakness and stiffness are surefire side-effects. Eventually, it will make day-to-day activities unbearable, let alone training or exercise. Consulting and working with a physical therapist can get you back to 100% optimization quickly, without the self-diagnosis or over-the-counter temporary pain relievers. 

There are 3 primary ways that physical therapists can help:

  1. Programs focusing on Sports Injury Prevention
    • Physical therapy clinics often offer different classes or programs that are specific to different injuries. (Take a look at our services page)
  2. Strength, endurance, and gait analyses
    • Runners specifically can benefit from these services. The technology exists where a runner’s biomechanics can be assessed using three-dimensional video. Utilizing that state-of-the-art technology, interested parties can see themselves run at different speeds from different angles, thereby increasing understanding of their individual gait and body. This can help improve performance and prevent potential injuries through cadence, strengthening, and stretching. 
  3. Functional Movement Screenings 
    • Participating in a Functional Movement Screen can determine physical weaknesses, evaluate movement patterns, and ultimately identify and correct those weaknesses after recognition and training.

Pro Active Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Understands Pain

Are you an athlete? Do you suffer from athletic-related pain? That’s where sports medicine comes into play with physical therapy. 

Whether you’re currently suffering from pain due to injury, or even if you’re looking to make sure that kind of pain can be prevented, visiting one of our physical therapy clinics across Colorado can get you back to feeling 100% in no time. 

We know pain, and our physical therapists are well trained to help patients get rid of their unique physical pain by creating customized recovery programs for each individual. Every person is one-of-a-kind, and their treatment plans should reflect that. 

Ready to say goodbye to that nagging pain? Give Pro Active Physical Therapy a call today!

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