4 Things You Might Not Know About Graduate Sports Therapists

12th January 2021

Sports Therapy covers a vast range of treatments for injuries and bodily aches sometimes, but not always, relating to sports – it’s in the name!

But there are some things about Sports Therapy that aren’t as simple. So, at Balanced Bodies Injury Rehabilitation we’ve put together a list of 4 things you might not know about us.

Have a read and see how many you knew…

1. We’re not fresh out of Uni…

Being a Graduate Sports Therapist doesn’t necessarily mean we’re part of the ‘Class of Last Year’ – it just means that we hold a relevant degree accredited by the SST (Society of Sports Therapists) and are recognised by the STA (The Sports Therapy Association) – organisations that both uphold our standards of rehabilitation practice across the UK.

The Society of Sports Therapists, acknowledge that their members have 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, occupational & competitive environment
  • Assess, treat, rehabilitate and, where and if appropriate, refer on for specialist advice and intervention.
  • Provide appropriate soft tissue interventions in a sport & exercise context
  • Plan and implement appropriate rehabilitation and return to training/work programmes

(Source: The Society of Sports Therapists)

As a proud member of the SST and STA, I have achieved standards of knowledge and competence that are also recognised by other organisations, such as the NHS and sports teams where Graduate Sports Therapists can be found to practice.

Both societies have strict professional Codes of Conduct including guidelines ranging from performance and ethics, through to guidance on keeping ourselves and our clients safe during the COVID pandemic. In fact, via the STA, we have set such a high benchmark with PPE and social distancing that other sectors are just now catching up. All members of these societies are also subject to a range of stringent disciplinary procedures should any of their rules and guidelines be broken. So, clients seeking treatment from a member of the SST or STA can have peace of mind knowing that their Sports Therapist is working to exceptionally high standards of care.

2. We’re not Physiotherapists or Masseuses

Whilst we’re not Physiotherapists, we do sit within the same continuum as Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropractors. In effect, we are all slightly different versions of the same theme – Rehabilitation Therapists.

We love this blog by Brighton Sports Therapy which goes into more detail about these intertwining practices. Each discipline has its place and both are highly beneficial depending on the patient’s needs and level of injury. If you are not sure what your needs are, why not get in touch for a consultation and I can advise if Sports Therapist led rehabilitation is the right approach for your specific requirements.

The lines between Sports Therapy and Physiotherapy are fairly blurred and while there are some distinctions between environments of practice and techniques used, in reality, it’s mostly down to the individual therapist’s preferences and expertise. That’s why seeking consultations with your therapist before treatments is so essential – both the therapist and the client need to feel completely comfortable with the proposed treatment plan.

3. PPE is essential for us (and has been for a while)

Keeping our clients safe and comfortable at every stage of the rehabilitation process is incredibly important to us, particularly in current times. We understand seeing other people can be somewhat of a stressor, especially for more vulnerable people, but we don’t want you to be suffering without treatment. That’s why we take our PPE and infection prevention procedures very seriously!

The STA have ensured we are held to the highest standards of PPE and infection prevention with additional measures such as full PPE attire for the Sports Therapist (yes that includes a visor, mask, apron and gloves no matter the weather – even for the exercise classes), twice daily temperature checks for the Sports Therapist, temperature checks for each patient, pre-appointment COVID screening before in-person consults or exercise classes, deep cleaning before and after every patient and all-day clinic room ventilation.

We ensure all our equipment is clean and safe to use before and after each client. As you can see, we’re well-dressed for the occasion to ensure that you get the help you need in a clean and safe environment.

4. We don’t just deal only with sports injuries

With Sports Therapists, there’s a common misconception that you should only visit us if you have a sports-related injury – in fact, we deal with many different types of injuries. But don’t worry, our therapists don’t force patients to take up a rigorous programme of sporting activities. Our, treatments are tailor-made to you, depending on your abilities, and the specific injuries you present with. We treat people of all ages, sizes and abilities! However, for most injuries and conditions, we do know that strengthening is the key to success. Unfortunately, there is rarely a magic button that can be pressed to make an injury go away as if like magic, instead the key to success is helping you learn how to strengthen the area whilst your body does the awesome work of healing.

Here are a few ways we can help…

  • If you suffer from pain following a fall or sudden movement, we can help you with early rehabilitation. Tackling an injury early can help you avoid either a more serious long-term issue or an extended programme of treatments.
  • If you have a pain that appeared gradually from repetitive movement such as racket sport, manual labour, running or beauty therapy (Repetitive Strain Injury aka RSI), a program of strengthening exercises will help build the muscles to stop any pain from returning.
  • If you have neck pain, whether from your working posture or without any noticeable cause, a good Sports Therapist could provide you with treatments to relieve the issue.
  • Similarly, if you suffer from tingling or numbness in the lower back or legs, or shooting pains down one or both legs you might be suffering from a nerve issue and Sports Therapy can introduce you to a range of exercises to alleviate the pain, giving you an improved range of movement.
  • For those suffering from acute pain and discomfort, we can also provide manual therapy to help promote pain reduction, increased flexibility and improved range of motion.

If you’re still not sure, just get in touch! We hope we’ve cleared up some of the confusion surrounding Sports Therapy but if you would like to hear more about what we do at Balanced Bodies Injury Rehabilitation we’d love to hear from you.

And finally, a specific Lock Down 2.0 update:

At Balanced Bodies Injury Rehabilitation, we’re able to announce that we will be able to stay open throughout the second lockdown and continue to offer outstanding support to our clients. However, it is with a very heavy heart that we recognise that many other small businesses and families are struggling financially during this challenging time. So, we wanted to give something back to our supportive community…

Do you have a loved one, family member or friend that is suffering from a bodily pain, ache or injury? Perhaps someone that would also struggle to afford treatment at this time and is soldiering on? Well, we are offering a free virtual consultation to one person each day during this initial lockdown period. So, please nominate a loved one in the comments or get in touch with their contact details to nominate them for this amazing offer. Don’t forget to tell us why you want to nominate them! Perhaps they have really helped you out when you were having a hard time, or maybe they just spread joy around to everyone they meet.

Also, why not sign up to our information email, we will share occasional hints and tips to help you keep your body balanced and in optimal shape.