What is Sports & Exercise Physiotherapy?
Sports & exercise physiotherapists are involved in prevention and management of injury resulting from sport and exercise participation at all ages and levels of ability. Sports & exercise physiotherapists provide advice on safe participation, promoting an active lifestyle to help all individuals improve and maintain their quality of life. Sports & exercise physiotherapists also have a role in helping those involved in sport and recreational activity to enhance their performance.
Sports & exercise physiotherapists work within codes of professional and ethical practice. Sports & exercise 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 & exercise 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 & exercise 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 & exercise 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 & exercise physiotherapists also work within sporting organisations to coordinate physiotherapy, injury prevention, rehabilitation and injury surveillance programmes.