What is the difference between a Sports Therapist and Physiotherapist?

What is Sports Therapy?

Sports Therapy is an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and the rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of age and ability.  It utilises the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prepare the participant for training, competition and where applicable, work.

What is a Sports Therapist?

A Sports Therapist is a healthcare professional who has the knowledge, skills and ability to:

  • Utilise sports and exercise principles to optimise performance, preparation and injury prevention programmes
  • Provide the immediate care of injuries and basic life support in a recreational, training & competitive environment
  • Assess, treat and, where appropriate, refer on for specialist advice and intervention.
  • Provide appropriate sport and remedial massage in a sport & exercise context
  • Plan and implement appropriate rehabilitation programmes

The spectrum of expertise that a Sports Therapists must possess is built within five key areas of competency related to injury and illness in the sport and exercise environment. These are:

  • Prevention
  • Recognition & evaluation
  • Management, treatment & referral
  • Rehabilitation
  • Education & professional practice issues

Within each of these areas Sports Therapists are specifically trained and educated in principles that have sound practical and evidence based philosophies with solid sport and exercise science foundations.  As such, Sports Therapists are required to meet clearly defined competency levels which cover the breadth of the above areas and gives them the knowledge, skills and ability to work at all levels of the sport and exercise continuum.

Sport and Exercise Therapy is not just about Sports Massage. However, Sports Therapists will possess massage skills that are an integral part of their scope of practice.  Sports Therapists are not Physiotherapists, but Sports Therapists will apply “physiotherapy” skills because physiotherapy is defined as “the treatment of disease, injury or deformity by physical methods including massage, heat treatment, electricity and exercise, rather than drugs or surgery”  Consequently, Sports Therapists will apply many skills and modalities that are included within this list but in a sport and exercise perspective rather than a traditional healthcare context.  Sports Therapists are not just first aiders. More significantly they are first responders who have the training, knowledge, skills and expertise to provide immediate care in a first response role.

Allied to their Sport and Exercise science knowledge, therapeutic abilities and understanding of sport, Sports Therapists are capable and proficient in applying the necessary rehabilitation principles, to enable their patients to achieve the optimum levels of recovery, that their injury or disability will allow. As such, the journey from injury to a return to activities can be facilitated by professionals who have the knowledge, skills and science based principles to meet the needs of a clearly defined patient group. More importantly, Sports Therapists are, and should be, an integral part of the Sports Medicine family, complementing and reinforcing the excellent skills and knowledge also being provided by colleagues and other professions.

Our Sports Therapy Clinic has become one of the leading Clinic’s in North London.  Specialising in Sports Massage, Bodylogics has grown to serve clients across a wide area and through a range of issues.  Our website www.bodylogics.co.uk will give you all you need to know about our company and how we can help you get the best from your body.

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