osteopath for sciatica treatment clinic colchester essex

What is sports therapy?

Sports Therapy is an aspect of healthcare that is solely focused on the musculoskeletal system. It is an aspect of healthcare that is specifically concerned with the prevention of injury and rehabilitation of the patient back to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports-specific function, regardless of age and ability.

Sports Therapists treat pain and injury through hands-on treatment and rehabilitation. Sports Therapists undergo a three-year degree course which focuses primarily on the musculoskeletal system and on restoring, maintaining and maximising movement to relieve pain and increase quality of life. 

Sports Therapists share many similarities with Physiotherapists, but also some differences.  

The main similarities are… 

  • Both assess and diagnose injuries 
  • Deliver a personalised treatment plan  
  • Teach patients how to reduce pain and manage chronic injuries  
  • Implement rehabilitation programmes  
  • Teach patients how to stay fit and well  

The main differences are… 

  • Physiotherapists have a broader knowledge base and medical background, which allows them to treat neurological and respiratory issues.  
  • Sports Therapists generally have more exposure to sporting environments, making them ideal for preventing sports injuries through specific strengthening programmes.  
  • Physiotherapy attempts to rehabilitate patients to allow them to feel comfortable and cope in their day-to-day life. Sports Therapy aims to rehabilitate to normal day-to-day life and then aim to get them back to physical activity where applicable.  
  • Sports Therapists specialise in the Musculoskeletal system, whereas Physiotherapy is broader.  

What do Sports Therapists treat? 

  • Back, neck and shoulder pain (including sciatica) 
  • Muscle, ligament and tendon injuries 
  • Sprains and strains 
  • Achilles tendonitis 
  • Frozen shoulder 
  • Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow 
  • Knee pain 
  • Plantar fasciitis 
  • Post/pre-surgery rehabilitation 
  • Runner’s knee 
  • Shin splints/Medial Tibial Border Syndrome (MTBS) 
  • And a whole host more! 

    Sports Therapy is an unregulated profession meaning the ‘Sports Therapist’ title is not protected and therefore it is worth looking for a therapist that is a member of an association, the main association being the Society of Sports Therapists (SST). You can check if a Sports Therapist is registered on the SST’s website. Lauren, our Sports Therapist, is registered to the SST.  
Post pregnancy gentle exercise

Exercise after pregnancy

There is very little advice out there for women returning to exercise after birth and the aim of this blog is to collate all the information you need to safely return to exercise after birth.

There are a few main points to be aware of when considering going back to exercise after pregnancy. The first is that your lower back and core abdominal muscles may be weaker than they used to be. The second is that your ligaments and joints are more flexible after birth, so there is an increased risk of injury. Pregnancy hormones stay in your body for up to 3 months after pregnancy, meaning the laxity in the joints, muscles and ligaments will remain for that period of time as well. For those mothers who breast-feed their baby, the hormones can remain for 2-3 months after breast-feeding stops.

 

Exercise Prescription for natural births:

6-12 weeks Postpartum:

  • Begin pelvic floor and deep abdominal exercise from 1-2 days
  • Gentle walking when pain allows (within first week)
  • Gradually increase walking distance and speed (10% each week)

6-12 weeks Postpartum:

  • Pelvic floor assessment recommended before return to high-impact exercise
  • Pilates is very beneficial
  • Continue to progressively increase intensity 12 weeks +
  • Return to running/high impact exercise can be possible

Tips for Returning to Exercises:

  • If you are breastfeeding, then feed before exercise to increase your comfort whilst exercising
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Seek help if it does not ‘feel right’

 

Exercise Prescription for C-sections:

If you have had a C-section the advice is slightly different. During the first 6 weeks it is advised that you allow your body to fully rest and when your baby has their 6 week check-up, speak to the practitioner about returning to exercise. It is also advised to see a Woman’s Health Specialist or a Sports Therapist/Physiotherapist who has worked with lots of postpartum women. They can guide you through the best way to get back into exercise and normal life.

 

Postpartum can be a strange time, and getting to understand and navigate your new body takes time. If you have any aches or pains, it is always best to get them looked at and taken care of. If you have any questions you can book a call with Lauren, our postnatal recovery expert.