What is Sport Rehabilitation? A blog by Andrew
As a Sport Rehabilitator and the newest member of the team at KHPhysiotherapy, I thought it was about time I let you all know exactly what Sport Rehabilitation is and what it means to be a Sport Rehabilitator.
The British Association of Sport Rehabilitators, otherwise known as BASRaT is the professional association for Sport Rehabilitators. The BASRaT website states that Sport Rehabilitators like me specialise in helping people suffering from pain, injury or illness involving the musculoskeletal system.
Although as the name suggests, practitioners like myself specialise in the treatment of sport related injury, I am capable of providing assessment and rehabilitation for a vast range of musculoskeletal injuries for all members of the wider population.
I strongly believe in the use of exercise to both prevent and rehabilitate injury and believe that the correct prescription and progression of exercise acts as the most important factor in improving the overall condition of an individual, especially when recovering from injury. Alongside this, I am also trained to provide a range of other treatments to aid the process of rehabilitation, such as soft tissue massage and mobilisation. When used effectively in combination with effective exercise prescription, this skill set can be hugely beneficial in assisting the healing process and reducing the likelihood of re-injury.
One of the main questions people ask in relation to Sport Rehabilitation is how it differs to Physiotherapy. Many people would say that the main difference is that Physiotherapists tend to help members of the public work towards being able to complete daily tasks pain free, whereas Sport Rehabilitators work with sports people to return them to competition. In some cases, this can be true however for myself I would say I care hugely about both and believe all rehabilitation, whether for elite athletes or members of the general public should aim to allow the individual to take part in activity and sport which they enjoy, allowing them to lead a healthy, fulfilled lifestyle. In my opinion, the most significant difference in the knowledge and skill set of Sport Rehabilitators in contrast to Physiotherapists is that practitioners like myself are taught more specifically about the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal injury, whereas Physiotherapists learn a broader syllabus covering other areas such as neurological and respiratory rehabilitation.
However, a huge proportion of the knowledge learnt during our degrees is shared by both courses, meaning your experience with a Physiotherapist or Sport Rehabilitator is likely to be very similar. At KHPhysiotherapy, Kerstine and I are both huge advocates of exercise despite our slightly different undergraduate backgrounds, meaning our approaches to rehabilitation are very similar and exercise focused. In addition to this, Kerstine and I also believe there is real value in educating people about the affected structures within their bodies, to help them to understand the mechanisms and healing processes involved.
So, to finish, here are in my opinion the three key steps of a Sport Rehabilitator’s work with an individual:
- Detailed Initial Assessment to understand an individual’s condition and come to a working diagnosis regarding the injury presented.
- A clear explanation to the individual regarding the outcome of the assessment, how to manage their condition and what the next steps are.
- Effective treatment and exercise prescription progressed in line with the healing process to aid the process of injury rehabilitation and reduce the risk of re-injury in the future.
If, after reading this blog you feel that you could benefit from a session with myself, whether that be to get to the bottom of a long-term injury, diagnose and treat an acute injury or receive a service such as a sports massage then please do book in, I would love to help you achieve your goals!
I am available on Mondays at KHPhysiotherapy and you can contact me on-