Playing sports can sometimes come at a price. Whether you’re a collegiate athlete or a passionate rec-league player, you’ve probably experienced an injury at some point in your athletic career. When you regularly play sports, you often use the same muscle groups repeatedly which makes you more susceptible to an overuse injury.
In young athletes, overuse injuries accounted for more than 50% of medical visits. Overuse injuries are chronic and caused by high levels of physical stress without proper time allocated for the body to recover. They include conditions such as:
- Achilles tendonitis (Heel pain)
- Rotator cuff tendonitis (Shoulder pain)
- Patellar tendonitis (Knee pain)
While it can’t prevent all sport-related injuries, physical therapy can help you take a proactive (rather than reactive) approach to training, plus it helps you recover faster, build resilience and even prevent certain injuries from occurring in the first place. Let’s explore the power of physical therapy for athletes and focus specifically on injury prevention through prehabilitation (prehab).
As experts in physical therapy for athletes, we’ll also show how you can benefit from physical therapy technology and a few training tips.
Prehabilitation: Building a Foundation for Injury Prevention
Prehabilitation, as the name suggests, involves proactive measures to prevent injuries before they happen. It focuses on identifying and addressing potential weaknesses, imbalances and movement dysfunctions that may increase the risk of injury. By incorporating prehab exercises and interventions into your training regimen, you can create a strong foundation for injury prevention and performance optimization.
At Park North, we will help you create a prehab plan to enhance your movement mechanics using assessments and functional exercises.
How We Create PT Prehab Plan For an Athlete
- Identify muscular imbalances. A thorough movement assessment conducted by one of our physical therapists can help you identify any biomechanical issues, muscle imbalances or faulty movement patterns that may predispose you to injuries. This assessment will give us an idea of what we will need to incorporate into your prehab plan.
- Focus on function. Functional mobility and strength training target the specific muscles and movement patterns involved in your sport. During your PT sessions, you’ll focus on strengthening underdeveloped areas and maintaining the appropriate range of motion for your activity. You’ll receive exercises that mimic your sport for increased performance, as well as exercises that counterbalance the effects of your training. This not only prevents overuse injuries, it ultimately helps you handle the physical stresses of your sport.
Innovative Physical Therapy Technology for Athletic Recovery and Better Performance
If you’re an athlete that wants to recover faster or increase your sport performance, consider using the next-gen physical therapy technology currently available in our NYC clinics.
At Park North, we provide athletes with cutting-edge tools that feature neuromuscular re-education capabilities, support detoxification and weight loss, show real-time athletic performance and more.
- NEUBIE Device: This is an electrical stimulation device that targets specific muscle groups and nerves, enhancing muscle activation, promoting blood flow and accelerating the healing process.
- Cupping Therapy: These special cups create suction on the skin for pain relief, reduced inflammation, increased blood flow and offers a deep-tissue massage effect.
- Low Light Laser Therapy (LLLT): This is a low intensity light that reduces inflammation and addresses swelling, making it a valuable tool for both acute and chronic pain management in athletic performance and recovery.
- Digitsole Technology: This data-driven solution for runners combines smart insoles and wearable devices to provide real-time foot and body analysis, enhancing performance and preventing injuries.
- NeuroRehab VR: This intervention utilizes a virtual reality approach to engage patients in immersive rehabilitation exercises, promoting neuroplasticity and real-time feedback on your movement.
Training Tips for Athletes from Our Physical Therapists
Physical therapy principles can help you create a well-balanced workout routine that will not only boost your performance but will also aid you in preventing injuries and recovering faster. Try incorporating these tips into your training regime:
Engaging in a variety of exercises and activities helps prevent overuse injuries by giving specific muscle groups time to recover while still maintaining overall fitness. Incorporate cross-training activities such as swimming, cycling or yoga into your routine to improve cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and strength while reducing the strain on repetitive muscle groups.
Periodization involves dividing your training program into distinct phases to optimize performance and prevent overtraining. By incorporating periods of rest, active recovery and intensity variation, you can prevent burnout, reduce the risk of injuries and maximize your athletic potential.
Warm-Up & Cool-Down
Before and after your sport, make sure to dedicate time to warm-up and cool-down exercises. A proper warm-up should consist of dynamic flexibility that increases your blood flow, loosens muscles and improves joint mobility. On the other hand, a cool-down should include more static stretching and slower movements. This will prevent muscle soreness and promote efficient recovery.
Prevent Sports Injuries with Prehab or Get Back in the Game with Rehab
Our team of physical therapists understand how sports can take a toll on your body. We have a wealth of resources and innovative technologies to help you prevent injuries, recover effectively, and improve your overall sport performance.
By incorporating prehabilitation exercises, utilizing physical therapy devices and balancing your training regime, you’ll reach new heights in your sport. Visit Park North Physical Therapy in Morningside Heights or Harlem and take proactive steps towards injury prevention and optimal performance in your sport. Book an appointment today – your body will thank you!