Working with athletes in physical therapy is slightly different then working with the general population. While the aim is the same, to return to function, time is of the essence and in the case of career athletes, it may not be possible to avoid repetitive motion activities that lead to the injury in the first place. As such, it’s important to create therapeutic regimens that support an athlete’s return to their chosen sport. In the interest of promoting efficient rehabilitation, let’s look at some of the best modalities to use when treating athletes.
5 Best Rehabilitative Modalities to use with Athletic Injuries
- Cold Compression Therapy: Immediately after an injury it’s important to use ice and compression in order to decrease pain and lower swelling. A cold compression therapy device is able to efficiently address both of these issues and with multiple wraps can address most athletic injuries: from elbow tendinitis to torn ACL’s.
- Whirlpool therapy: Therapeutic Whirlpools, whether hot or cold, can help efficiently address athletic injuries. Most common athletic injuries are found in the extremities, hips and soaking in a warm whirlpool can help injured muscles to relax and begin to circulate more blood, which facilitates the healing process.
- Paraffin therapy: Paraffin therapy tubs can be used in the treatment of muscle and joint pain in addition to inflammation. Additionally, the heat used in paraffin therapy can increases circulation which aids the healing process. With different sizes, paraffin therapy can be used to treat most upper and lower extremity injuries, like wrist sprains.
- Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) Machines: After an athlete suffers an injury requiring surgery, such as ACL reconstruction, it’s important for them to achieve prior range of motion as quickly as possible. After ACL surgery, research suggests the use of CPM machines 4-8 weeks after surgery in order to improve range of motion.
- Underwater Treadmill: Water is a great medium for patients to exercise in. There is less stress on the joints and the water adds resistance for some strength training. Underwater Treadmills are great for runners who are in the middle of rehabilitation, because it mimics running on-land and provides comparable cardiovascular benefits.
Therapeutic modalities can provide important tools in sports rehabilitation. When the aim is to return to high-level function, it’s important to create a regimen that is efficient, safe and effective. Sports therapy uses these modalities because they are able to support and enhance the goals of athletic physical therapy.
Recommend Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy Products from this article:
Game Ready GRPro 2.1
Cold Compression Unit
Passive Motion Machine