What is Sports Physiotherapy?
Sports physiotherapists are involved in prevention and management of injury resulting from sport and exercise participation at all ages and levels of ability. Sports physiotherapists provide advice on safe participation, promoting an active lifestyle to help all individuals improve and maintain their quality of life. Sports physiotherapists also have a role in helping those involved in sport and recreational activity to enhance their performance.
Sports physiotherapists work within codes of professional and ethical practice. Sports physiotherapists engage in ongoing continuing professional education, and in New Zealand, Advanced Practitioners in Sports and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy have been identified who have undertaken more advanced training and professional development in this area.
A sports physiotherapist is a recognised professional who demonstrates advanced competencies in the promotion of safe physical activity participation, provision of advice, and adaptation of rehabilitation and training interventions, for the purposes of preventing injury, restoring optimal function, and contributing to the enhancement of sports performance, in athletes of all ages and abilities, while ensuring a high standard of professional and ethical practice.
Sports physiotherapists work in a variety of settings. Many work with active recreational “athletes”, social and club level sport in the clinic setting, and may attend training sessions. Sports physiotherapists with advanced knowledge and skills also work with more elite athletes, working and travelling with individuals or sports teams, integrating their services with other medical professionals, coaches, strength and conditioning personnel and other support staff . Within professional sport, many sports physiotherapists also work within sporting organisations to coordinate physiotherapy, injury prevention, rehabilitation and injury surveillance programmes.