A sports physiotherapist's job description

Written by tammy barclay
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A sports physiotherapist's job description
Physiotherapists teach effective training techniques. (métis 246 image by Nathalie P from Fotolia.com)

Sports physiotherapists help athletes reach their maximum potential. They raise the bar of limitations both mentally and physically for athletes through a wide variety of techniques. Physiotherapists are also responsible for the physical training of athletes, for consultation, rehabilitation and the administration of first aid. Some of the more common techniques used by physiotherapists are muscle manipulation, ice and heat stimulation, acupuncture, massage therapy and hydrotherapy.

Necessary Skills

Sports physiotherapists need specific skills to function effectively on the job. Individuals must have a strong understanding of the functions of the human body, especially in regard to the musculoskeletal system, the neurological system and the cardiorespiratory system. These individuals should also have an interest in sports as well as the well-being of others. Physiotherapists have to be compassionate and have quality communication skills to help athletes understand the procedures being implemented. Organizational and administrative skills are also necessary to maintain accurate treatment records for the safety of the athletes.

A sports physiotherapist's job description
Understanding systems of the body. (facial muscular system image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com)

Prevention of Injuries

Preventing injuries is a key concern of physiotherapists. No one wants to see athletes get hurt. These individuals work alongside the athletes to develop effective workout routines and healthy eating habits. Some of these therapists encourage scientific workout methods, while other therapists believe in the old holistic remedies to help athletes reach their maximum potential. Regardless of the method, the overall intention of all therapists is to push the threshold of limitations without causing injury. Each workout pushes the athlete a step further, always producing growth. Every workout is charted and measured to ensure safety and to document growth.

Educating Athletes

Physiotherapists educate athletes on many important components of healthy training and prevention techniques. They spend time in consultative meetings with athletes, educating them on the importance of effective warm-ups, workouts and cool-down procedures. As the workouts are consistently measured, these consultations will be used by the therapists and the athletes to analyse the data to prepare future training sessions.

Treatment of Injuries

Unfortunately, athletes do get injuries. Another job of physiotherapists is to help the injured athletes recover as quickly as possible, getting back to 100 per cent. When injuries do occur, physiotherapists administer first aid. Injuries can be as minor as cuts and scrapes or as traumatic as to require surgery. When surgery is preformed, the athletes then must face rehabilitation. This rehabilitation is completed with the help of physiotherapists. Physiotherapists use a wide variety of therapies to help athletes recover, such as ice stimulation, heat stimulation, range of motion exercises, electrical stimulation, acupuncture, athletic taping, massages, electrotherapy and manipulative techniques.

Employment of Physiotherapists

Physiotherapists work in many different locations. Some are hired to work with professional teams. These individuals are considered part of the team, attending every meeting, training session, practice and competitive event. Other physiotherapists work in local gyms and health clinics. Some physiotherapists open their own businesses to perform these duties. Physiotherapists are also found in hospitals and research clinics around the world.

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