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How Physical Therapy Gets Athletes Back With Their Teams



Physical Therapy

No matter how large or small an injury, physical therapy is going to play a massive part in getting an athlete back with their team and performing at the top levels they’re familiar with. The rehabilitation process will focus on improving stability, regaining strength, having a full range of motion, and more, all depending on the exact nature and extent of a player’s injury. 

Throughout the recovery process, the focus isn’t only on getting back into the game as soon as possible. As important as that is, what’s arguably more crucial is ensuring an athlete won’t be susceptible to an increased risk of falling victim to the same injury again and again. With such a complicated process, here’s more information on what it looks like. 


Once the injury is stabilized, meaning that any pressing issues, such as potential bleeding, are taken care of, the next thing that’ll be done is examining the athlete’s injury. This is to see the extent of the damage. It will be done by seeing what physical motions can still be completed. Imagine with a potentially torn muscle, the therapist will ask to see the athlete’s range of motion, strength in gripping and lifting, and flexibility. 

Beyond that, often a more thorough assessment will be conducted as well. After a physical, the continued evaluation would be through means of medical imaging and potentially taking x-rays. For seasoned athletes, it will also be crucial to look into their past records to see if their current injury could be, in any way, related to a past issue. Depending on the area, if muscle or tissue is torn multiple times, it may be more fragile with each new injury. 


After the exact injury, and the severity of it has been determined, the next step is to create an individualized recovery plan tailored to the specific athlete. The exact regimen will be determined on a case-by-case basis but will involve an intricate series of exercises and stretches. Throughout the recovery process, there will be a focus on improving strength and flexibility in the injured area.

When focusing on recovery in the injured area, the athlete’s normal fitness routine will be altered according to the injury to ensure there is no other muscle degradation throughout the rest of the body while the problem area slowly returns to full strength. 


A team can’t get their player back simply because an athlete themselves feels like they are ready. A player will feel the itch to return to their game as soon as possible and the coaches and managers want nothing more than to have their team back at a full line-up. Those wants aren’t what makes the difference when it comes to the decision to return, as it’s solely up to the medical professionals that work for the team. 

Therapists and doctors are only going to give the OK once they feel like the athlete isn’t going to be extremely susceptible to suffering the same injury on their first game back. When it comes to making sure professionals have the careers they’ve always dreamt of, waiting the proper amount of time to return is of the utmost importance.

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