At BPS we often get asked "what is the difference between a Sports Physiotherapist and a regular Physiotherapist" and our answer is always the same. You can think of a Sports Physiotherapist like a specialist in, yep you guessed it, sports! While this may seem obvious, it is important to really understand how this small difference affects you, the client and the outcomes you will get!
A Sports Physiotherapist will have a clear understanding about the steps needed for you to perform at your best on the field, in the pool or on stage. They not only understand what is required of your muscles, bones, ligaments and other body structures, as a regular Physiotherapist does, but they are also experts in knowing when it is time for you to increase your training load, how to taper for game day and how optimise your biomechanics for the best results.
Think of it the way, there are huge variety of lawyers, sure they all have a law degree, but would you go to a property lawyer for a family law matter? No, you would choose the lawyer that specialises in your particular matter, to ensure you get the best result. The same is true with a Sports Physiotherapist. By seeking out the Physio who best understands your sport, you are ensuring that you get the fastest results with as little effort because they know what to expect, they can see the road ahead and can get you there safe and sound.
How do I find a great Sports Physiotherapist?
There are 5 simple checks you should make before you choose your Sports Physiotherapist;
- Do they play or are they involved in your particular sport? This seems obvious, but is often over looked! A great Sports Physiotherapist will have a love of your sport. They will live and breathe it as much as you and when you ask them about their time trials, favourite club or best warm up stretch, they will be able to answer you with the same spark in their eye that you have! Check out the BPS Sports Physio team here to see who fits your needs!
- Who do they treat in that sport? Great Sports Physiotherapists leave a trial. Meaning that they should have success stories of how they have helped other athletes in your sport overcome similar injuries or struggles in the past! After all, that is what they are good at!
- Personality! This might initially seem irrelevant, but trust us when we say, personality is everything. If you don't gel with your Physio, your treatment progression is going to be laboured and a generally unpleasant experience for both parties involved. Make sure you and your Physio see eye to eye, sure they need to have the skills to back up your friendship, but don't underestimate the power of personality to keep you motivated and on track to achieving your goals.
- Proximity- Like personality, this is another important factors. If your choose Sports Physio isn't in close proximity to you, easy to get to and convenient, then you can bet your bottom dollar making and getting to your sessions together is going to be a pain. You know what they say, the enemy of success is complexity. If its hard to get to your sessions, your going to be less likely follow through with your treatment plan!
- Mentors - Finally, the most important piece, who are THEIR mentors! That's right, you want to know who they are going to with the tough questions. After all, no one is expected to know everything, but you want to be sure they have a team of people around them who can answer the hard questions and can help out in a time of need! You can tell a lot about a person by who they get their advice from!