The intensity and obsession of the athlete brings its own demands to the Physiotherapist beyond the simple injury diagnosis and treatment sessions. Understanding that everything happens for a reason is a good start as well as determining how the body works and why things happen.
Applying this to the body means that everything has to be assessed and scored, when injured and not injured, to build up a picture of what is normal for a particular athlete. Every part of the body will be assessed for its length, strength, control, mobility, tension, tightness, stability, firing pattern, slide and glide, and feel and look.
For the professional athlete, physio sessions can often take several hours. Using video analysis of an athlete in a ‘normal’ or baseline state and when tired is a valuable tool. Knowing an athlete well enough to be able to spot when things are not right is also vitally important. Once an assessment has been made, there may be a long list of things to work on. There will almost certainly be tightness and stiffness in spinal, muscular and fascial structures, weakness in certain muscle groups, poor range in joints and lack of control or stability in specific areas or whole limbs.
Manual treatment to mobilise, lengthen and improve the slide and glide of the stiff and tight structures will help in the short-term. Longer-term treatment of weakness and control will be dealt with by specific strength and movement work.
Over time it is possible to change how a whole body moves, but it takes time and dedication by both the athlete and the Physiotherapist.
To find out more about our Athletes Physiotherapy contact us now; we are here to help you.