Serious athletes are almost always searching for viable methods of increasing sports performance. Such individuals have dedicated their whole selves to reaching their utmost athletic potential, and many will stop at nothing until that potential is reached. Special diets, nutritional supplements, and personal training are often sought out by those who want to boost their athletic prowess, and these tools do help some people achieve this goal. However, many people never partake of the secret weapon of top-of-their-game athletes: physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy Isn’t Just for the Injured
Most people believe physiotherapy is only for the injured, but this isn’t the case. Physiotherapy is multi-dimensional. Although there is a high level of awareness of its curative capabilities (i.e., treating chronic pain), there is a relatively low level of awareness of its preventative and proactive capabilities. While physiotherapy can definitely treat pain and be used to prevent future injuries, it can also be used to prepare an athlete’s body for grueling sports activities.
Keith J. Cronin, DPT, OCS, CSCS, says, “(Physiotherapists) are, of course, experts in injury rehabilitation. But they are also experts in maximizing athletic potential, whether it be a quarterback who wants to throw the ball further or harder, or a running back looking to explode faster out of the backfield.”
This type of therapy should not be looked at merely as a treatment for pain, but as a tool for turning aspiring athletes into champions.
Athletes Should Strive to Prevent Sports-related Injuries
Athletes who want to increase their athletic performance should first aim to prevent sports-related injuries. (There is nothing that will impede sports performance faster than a pulled muscle or ligament.) To help a non-injured individual keep physical trauma at bay, a physiotherapist will work with him or her to strengthen muscle groups in order to ensure movements are carried out in a safe manner. Learning to prevent sports-related injury is the first step in increasing athletic performance.
How Physiotherapy Boosts Sports Performance
How exactly does physiotherapy boost sports performance? Keith J. Cronin says it best: “By…identifying what I call an athlete’s ‘anchors’: conditions that are holding him back.” For example, if a baseball pitcher has functional limitations that prevent him from pitching at a high velocity, those functional limitations act as anchors that hold that pitcher back from becoming great at his sport.
A physiotherapist goes through many years of training to learn to diagnose and correct athletic anchors; that’s why it’s wise for athletes to seek out the expertise of these health care professionals.
Physiotherapy augments athletic abilities, aids in injury prevention, and increases awareness of how to effectively care for a body destined for intense sports performance. For these reasons, investing in physiotherapy is one of the best decisions an athlete can make.