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.
A Sports Therapist is a healthcare professional who has the knowledge, skills and ability to:
- Utilise sports and exercise principles to optimise performance, preparation and injury prevention programmes
- Provide the immediate care of injuries and basic life support in a recreational, training & competitive environment
- Assess, treat and, where appropriate, refer on for specialist advice and intervention.
- Provide appropriate sport and remedial massage in a sport & exercise context
- Plan and implement appropriate rehabilitation programmes
The spectrum of expertise that a Member of The Society of Sports Therapists must possess is built within five key areas of competency related to injury and illness in the sport and exercise environment.
- Recognition & evaluation
- Management, treatment & referral
- Education & professional practice issues
Allied to their Sport and Exercise science knowledge, therapeutic abilities and understanding of sport, Sports Therapists, and especially Members of the Society of Sports Therapists, are capable and proficient in applying the necessary rehabilitation principles, to enable their patients to achieve the optimum levels of recovery, that their injury or disability will allow. As such, the journey from injury to a return to activities can be facilitated by professionals who have the knowledge, skills and science based principles to meet the needs of a clearly defined patient group.
More importantly, Sports Therapists are, and should be, an integral part of the Sports Medicine family, complementing and reinforcing the excellent skills and knowledge also being provided by colleagues and other professions.