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Sports Injuries

19 November 2019

Why physical therapy programmes are beneficial

Physical therapy programmes are customised to your needs with specific exercises designed to help you heal, return to the activities you love and keep you from re-aggravating your injury.

You suffered an injury that has sidelined you from exercise, but you dodged a bullet – your doctor has said that you don't need surgery.

Instead, he or she prescribes physical therapy, most likely to start after a rest period to give any inflammation time to subside.

Each person responds differently

At that point, you're probably feeling better and wondering if you need the rehab after all. Here's why it's important to go through with the programme and not just jump back into your old routine.

Physical therapy programmes are customised to your needs with specific exercises designed to help you heal, return to the activities you love and keep you from re-aggravating your injury. You'll benefit from one-on-one attention, important since each person responds differently to an injury and improves at his or her own speed.

Other goals include reducing pain and improving flexibility, mobility and range of motion. If surgery is still a question mark, going through physical therapy may help you avoid it.

Your physical therapist will continually assess your recovery and adapt exercises as you progress from the repair phase, in which your body repairs the damaged tissue, to the remodelling phase, when your body strengthens that new tissue. You'll also learn any needed adaptations for your favourite activities, and exercises that will enable you to continue with them when you get the green light.

An important reminder: You'll be given exercises to do on your own when you "graduate" from your physical therapy programme. Following through on this programme will ensure that your recovery continues.

Image credit: iStock

 

Ask the Expert

Sports Injuries Expert

Adrian Rotunno is a medical doctor in the Sports & Exercise Medicine fellowship at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, and qualified physiotherapist. Team physician for Dimension Data pro-cycling, and Boland Rugby. Special interests include endurance sport, in particular cycling, as well as contact sports.

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