Whether you are a competitive athlete or a leisurely sport participant, you may need a Physical Therapist at any given time. Most therapists understand the needs of athletes and can provide a standard of care. But for athletes who are in-season or having to delay a training regimen, finding a therapist who is an expert in sports therapy can provide the best care to return to your sport as soon as possible.
What should you look for in a Physical Therapist?
Research a therapists’ biography to determine similar interests or an athletic background. Someone who understands your sport can manage realistic expectations as well as knowledge about your sport and care.
The Right Credentials
A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) provides therapists with a comprehensive understanding of strength training, sport specific activities, and injury prevention. A therapist who is a CSCS will work with your training program and provide modifications during your rehabilitation.
Athletic Training Certification (ATC) includes trainers who are licensed individuals that provide medical care, primarily in a sports setting. Many Physical Therapy clinics employee ATC’s to treat patients; but a rarer find is a Physical Therapist who is also an athletic trainer. Although not common, finding a professional who has duel qualifications can consolidate your rehabilitation program.
Not injured? No problem. Physical Therapists who have either of the above certifications can offer injury prevention programs for various sports. These programs include strength training, agility, balance, and plyometric exercises to help prevent many non-contact injuries.
Doing your research and identifying a potential Physical Therapist is key in finding the right one that works for YOU.
By: Josh Halas, DPT & Julie Munson, PT, ATC, CSCS