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.

Sports therapists give advice to athletes on how to train and compete safely, as well as treat injuries and assist with rehabilitation. Their aim is to prevent injuries and to help those who are injured to return to full fitness.

Sports therapy and rehabilitation is concerned with musculoskeletal conditions arising from sporting activity, not with general healthcare. It focuses on understanding and preventing sports injuries and dealing with the effects of physical and emotional trauma due to sports injuries. Please note, we are not Physiotherapists, nor should claim to be!

  • What is a Sports Therapist?
    Sports therapists may work in sports injuries clinics or may work directly with a sports club or sportsperson, either professional or amateur. Many therapists combine working in this discipline with other sports-related roles. They may have a range of clients and workplaces, rather than being employed by one organisation.
  • A Sports Therapist is a practitioner who...
    • Has the knowledge and ability to provide first aid and attend to injuries in a recreational, training and competitive environment.
    • Has the knowledge and ability to assess and, where appropriate, refer on for specialist advice and intervention.
    • Has the knowledge and ability to provide sports massage pre, post and inter activity.
    • Has the knowledge and ability to implement appropriate rehabilitation programmes.
    • Has the knowledge to utilise sports and exercise principles to optimise preparation and injury prevention programmes.
  • Typical work activities include...
    A sports therapist may be involved in any or all of the following activities:

    • conducting an assessment of the players’ or athletes’ readiness and advising on exercises prior to an event or fixture
    • testing joints for ease and range of movement
    • strapping, taping, offering massage and preparing players or athletes physically and mentally
    • providing first aid
    • examining and assessing injuries and determining whether the athlete can continue playing or taking part
    • examining and assessing injuries and dealing with traumas, e.g. cuts, bruises and blisters
    • treating injuries, alleviating pain, mobilising injuries, giving various types of massage
    • rehabilitating injuries by using manipulative techniques, apparatus and electrotherapy
    • designing and monitoring rehabilitation programmes appropriate to the injury and the sport
    • deciding whether athletes or players need extra treatments and coordinating referrals to other practitioners
    • advising players or athletes on diet and nutrition (when therapists are appropriately trained)
    • working alone or with coaches, trainers and/or fitness advisers to implement exercise, conditioning, core stability and injury prevention programmes, so that athletes reach and maintain peak performance
    • liaising with other health professionals in the sports sector and in mainstream medicine
  • Training and Education
    A Sports Therapist may be trained, educated and capable of providing care from a basic first aid level to graduate status. However, only those who are members of The Society of Sports Therapists will have been deemed as meeting the required levels of competencies and knowledge necessary to be covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance. Qualified members will have MSST after their names, student members will have SMSST.
  • Accredited and Validated Programmes of Study
    Only those who are members of The Society of Sports Therapists will have undertaken an accredited programme of study and achieved standards of knowledge and competencies that are recognised and recommended by the lead professional body in Sports Therapy.
  • Multi-disciplinary Team
    A Sports Therapist is an integral part of the multi-disciplinary team necessary to provide the best care, management and rehabilitation for sport and recreational participants, regardless of age and ability. They are recruited and used for their injury knowledge within the Sporting field and work closely with chartered Physiotherapists.
Erin has got me up and running on many an occasion and she is doing wonders for all the members at MedwayTri. Thanks for your help with our team Erin, you're a star!!!
Dean Ratcliffe