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The Role of Orthopedic and Sports Physiotherapist - An Overview

Published on Sep 08, 2022 and last reviewed on Feb 06, 2023   -  5 min read


Physiotherapists play an important role in managing sports injuries and musculoskeletal problems. This article explains sports physiotherapy in detail.

What Are Orthopedic and Sports Physiotherapy?

Treatment of the musculoskeletal system, which comprises the muscles and bones that have been injured or traumatized, is included in orthopedic physical therapy. Sprains, strains, post-fracture, post-surgery, and repetitive injuries are treated by physiotherapy.

Sports physiotherapy is a specialist field that deals with sports-related injuries and problems. Sports injuries are not the same as everyday ailments. Athletes are often required to perform at a high level and have enormous demands placed on their bodies, which puts their muscles, joints, and bones under extreme stress. Athletes heal from sports injuries with the help of sports physiotherapists, who also give knowledge and resources to help athletes avoid difficulties in the future.

What Is the Connection Between Orthopedics and Sports Therapy?

Athletes' medical support team may comprise a physical therapist, chiropractor, and even a psychologist therapist in addition to the sports therapist.

Communication and teamwork are essential in any team. For example, a sports therapist may assess that an athlete's persistent pain or injury is no longer treatable with typical sports therapy and send him or her to an orthopedist. The sports therapist will give the orthopedist his notes and observations, which he will utilize to determine the underlying cause of the injury or condition. So, once the orthopedist does testing and evaluations, that persistent hip discomfort could turn out to be a torn labrum, dislocation, sciatica, fracture, or a pulled groin muscle.

The orthopedist will design a treatment plan, which may involve pain management, regenerative medicine, or surgery once the diagnosis has been made. Following that treatment, the orthopedist will most likely recommend the athlete to physical therapy immediately, along with specific directions for the sports therapist on getting her back into competition shape.

Even if it is just a muscle strain or an ankle sprain, getting hurt may be a huge setback regardless of your level of play. The value of an expert orthopedic doctor cannot be overstated.

What Does an Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapist Do?

Physical therapists specializing in orthopedics diagnose, manage, and treat musculoskeletal problems and injuries and rehabilitate patients following orthopedic surgery. Physical therapy in the outpatient clinical setting is the most common setting for this specialty. Orthopedic therapists treat post-operative joints, acute sports injuries, arthritis, and amputations. In the orthopedic environment, treatments such as joint mobilization, strength training, hot or cold packs, and electrical stimulation are frequently employed to speed up recovery. A physical therapist who specializes and has experience in orthopedics can help those who have had an injury or condition that affects the muscles, bones, ligaments, or tendons of the body.

They mainly focus on:

  • Injury treatment.

  • Injury prevention.

  • Rehabilitation.

  • Performance enhancement.

How Is Physical Therapy Assessment Done?

The following steps are followed for the assessment:

What Conditions Can Benefit From Orthopedic and Sports Physiotherapy?

If you have been injured or are considering surgery, you might benefit from orthopedic physical therapy. The main goal of the treatment and exercises is to help and assist you in improving your strength, flexibility, and range of motion. An orthopedic physiotherapist's job is to get you back on your feet and back to enjoying life.

Orthopedic physical therapy may be recommended for the following conditions:

Knee Conditions:

  • ACL tear.

  • Patella pain.

  • Knee instability.

  • Knee pain.

  • Meniscus tear.

  • Knee replacement.

Hip Conditions:

Foot and Ankle Conditions:

  • Achilles tendon injuries.

  • Ankle sprain.

  • Foot and ankle pain.

  • Heel pain.

  • Plantar fasciitis.

Arm, Wrist, and Hand Conditions:

Shoulder Conditions:

  • Clavicle fracture.

  • Frozen shoulder.

  • Rotator cuff tear.

Spine Conditions:

  • Degenerative disc disease.

  • Lower back pain.

  • Scoliosis.

  • Spinal stenosis.

  • Herniated disc.

  • Torn disc.

Other Conditions:

  • Arthritis.

  • Running injuries.

  • Stress fractures.

  • Cartilage damage.

  • Fractures.

  • Lyme disease.

What Are the Common Types of Sports Injuries?

Some of the more common sports injuries include:

  • Ankle sprain.

  • Bruises.

  • Concussion.

  • Stress fractures.

  • Cuts and abrasions.

  • Dehydration.

  • Dental damage.

  • Groin strain.

  • Hamstring strain.

  • Knee joint injuries.

  • Nose injuries.

The key to avoiding injury is recognizing and minimizing overuse. In addition to strength and conditioning, much of this requires education and training.

How Do Orthopedic and Sports Physiotherapists Manage Injuries?

There are five types of tools that may be used to manage injuries:

Therapeutic Modalities:

A range of therapies, including heat, ice, water, laser, electrical stimulation, dry needling, and ultrasound, may produce positive effects. These are used to promote blood flow and flexibility, as well as to reduce swelling, relax, and, most significantly, relieve pain.

Assistive Devices:

Canes, walkers, crutches, slings, and braces are devices that may be utilized during a session or prescribed for use at home.

Assessment and Evaluation:

Your therapist will begin your treatment by conducting a complete assessment of your symptoms, movement patterns, and how they affect your everyday life. Throughout your treatment, you will be evaluated on a regular basis for things like pain, range of motion, strength, balance, and posture.

Mobilization and Massage:

Getting your muscles and joints moving is an important element of retraining your body to work better. Soft tissue massage may be used by your therapist to reduce stiffness and improve blood flow. Hands-on manual therapy, in which the therapist moves your joints and muscles for you, is another option.


The physical therapist will use certain tools to assist you in improving your movement. However, the most crucial aspect of therapy is your personal participation. You will participate in a variety of rehabilitation exercises aimed at assisting your full recovery.

You will perform activities to help you develop and grow your:

  • Strength.

  • Flexibility.

  • Range of motion.

  • Balance.

  • Functional mobility.

  • Endurance.

Exercise is typically the most difficult aspect of your treatment, but it is also the most important. Your physiotherapists will be able to walk you through the procedure with ease.


Physical therapy may be beneficial if there is an illness or injury to any region of your body that is affecting and limiting your ability to move or perform daily activities and functions. You will be best served and helped by a physiotherapist who specializes in muscle and skeletal issues. They will know how far to push you in order to achieve good outcomes without causing you undue pain or reinjury in all areas like sports, etc.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
06 Feb 2023  -  5 min read




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