April showers bring May flowers. But do you know what else each spring brings? Sports injuries. There’s just no good rhyme for it.

 

Sports injuries don’t just spike during spring because people start playing baseball, football, tennis and pickleball again. People’s bodies grow unaccustomed to intense physical activity over the winter. The sudden burst of activity puts them at increased risk of physical injury.

 

Technically, a “sports injury” can be any musculoskeletal injury resulting from overuse, direct impact, or application of greater force than a body part can withstand. Any strenuous labor can cause tennis elbow. Many construction workers get swimmer’s shoulder. Plenty of gardeners get golfer’s wrist, too. When nice weather lets people work outdoors longer, sports injuries are bound to happen more often.

 

As you may already have gathered, sports therapy treats sports injuries. This field of healthcare focuses on rehabilitating musculoskeletal injuries, regardless of their origin. Sports therapy is also effective at enhancing athletic performance, as well as reducing the risk of future musculoskeletal injuries – the reason why so many major league teams have full-time sports therapists on staff.

 

Sports therapy treats a massive range of injuries. Let’s take a look at three of the most common ones, and explain how sports therapy can help.

 

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

 

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), which occurs when overuse or injury damages the cartilage under the kneecap, is one of the most common knee injuries. PFPS can cause inflammation, which in turn can cause muscle imbalance, which in turn can cause even more inflammation. It’s a vicious circle.

 

Every sports injury is unique. A sports therapist can only prescribe the best course of treatment once they have examined their patient. That said, sports therapy for PFPS typically involves stretches and isometric exercises that strengthen the quadriceps and other muscles around the knee and hip. A sports therapist may also recommend special shoe inserts, as well as teach their patient how to improve their athletic ability by taping their knee.

 

Tennis Elbow

 

Tennis elbow (aka pickleball elbow, or lateral epicondylitis) is linked to overuse and muscle strain. Despite its name, tennis elbow is most frequently suffered by blue collar workers: people who must repeatedly tense up their forearm muscles.

 

Although the exact cause of tennis elbow isn’t fully understood, it often involves a specific muscle of the forearm: the extensor carpi radialis brevis, which extends and abducts the wrist. As such, sports therapy for tennis elbow typically focuses on stretching and strengthening that specific muscle, as well as the tendon it shares with multiple muscle groups in the arm.

 

Sciatica

 

The sciatic nerve, which is located in the back of the leg, can become pinched by a herniated disc or a bone spur. The resulting pain is called sciatica. This condition commonly affects athletes who engage in frequent asymmetrical actions, such as baseball pitchers and football placekickers.

 

Sports therapy for sciatica typically includes a broad range of isometric and isotonic exercises targeting the abdomen, low back, hips and legs. Manual therapy, such as Astym treatment, can prove highly effective at relieving pain and restoring full functionality. So too can gait training, nerve mobilization and joint manipulation.

 

Acucare Physical Therapy: Sports Therapy in Sioux Falls

 

Have you recently suffered a sports injury? Or are you already competing comfortably, but want to do everything in your power to avoid an injury that could end your athletic season early? Then we welcome you to contact our clinic in Sioux Falls, SD today! We have treated people for sports injuries for almost three decades, and we offer sports specificity training and closed chain strength training that can help anyone become a better athlete.