Category Archives: Sports and Fitness

Top 5 Benefits of Cross Training

Top 5 Benefits of Cross-Training

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Top 5 Benefits of Cross Training

We’ve all had exercise ruts: Our weight loss stalls, our strength seems at a standstill, and every workout feels like misery. If that’s happened to you, there’s something that your body might be trying to tell you: cross-train.

All athletes have physical specialties, and as a result, they tend to focus on and train the major muscle groups that are used primarily in their specific sport. Cross-training helps to create muscle confusion, which combats boredom and exercise plateaus. What it involves is adding in a new-to-you exercise sequence, or a faster or unusual workout type, to keep your body on alert for responsiveness and adaptation.

TOP 5 Benefits of Cross-Training

  • Decreased Risk of Injury
    Through cross-training, an athlete is less likely to get an overuse injury. Instead of overusing the same joints over and over, cross-training allows athletes to employ a variety of muscle groups.
  • Better Aerobic Capacity
    Limiting an athlete to one activity can cause burn-out. By doing different exercises, they are instead able to switch to new activities when a body part feels sore. For example, if you are a runner with shin pain, you can stop running and do swimming, rowing, or other non-impact activity, allowing you to continue to work on your stamina.
  • Increase in Overall Strength
    Research has shown that strength training can increase overall performance. By increasing strength, athletes can run faster, throw harder, and jump higher. For instance, weightlifting can increase performance more than just simply practicing certain skills.
  • Develop Dynamic Flexibility
    By working out multiple muscle groups, athletes can develop much greater dynamic flexibility than when you focus on one area of the body. New muscles, joints, and ligaments are “warmed up” and lengthened by trying new exercises or activities.
  • Aid in Healing
    In some cases, cross-training can allow the body to recuperate faster from injury; this is because other exercises can directly improve the condition caused by regular activity. Using alternative exercises allows the body to heal and in many cases will also help stretch and strengthen parts of the body that are in pain.

Physical therapists work with athletes to improve performance, prevent injuries, and aid in recovery.  If you are in pain or are looking for ways to improve in your sport find a physical therapy clinic near you!

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This article was written by the rehabilitation team at  The Center for Physical Rehabilitation – with locations throughout greater Grand Rapids, MI.

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PT News April 2021

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout April 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

1. Physical Therapy Can Relieve Your Arthritis Pain in These 4 Ways

Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Ohio.

Physical therapy is one of the highest-rated treatments for arthritis pain. While so many people think of physical therapy as a treatment for following an injury or after a devastating health condition like a heart attack or stroke, utilizing physical therapy for arthritis pain is both highly effective and recommended.  Read more

 

2. What is Proprioception Injury Prevention?

Written by O.S.R. Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with 4 locations in Minneapolis. 

Proprioception injury prevention is simply using your body’s sense of orientation to prevent an injury. Thinking about how you’re moving, what’s around you, and your position can help you stay clear of acute injuries. Acute sports injuries are some of the most painful injuries for an athlete. An injury is physically painful. But, it can also be emotionally painful as you’re sidelined for days and even months until you recover.  Read more

 

ACL Soccer Knee

3. Second ACL Tear 7 Times More Likely in Young Athletes

Written by Custom Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 3 locations near Reno, NV.

If you return to knee-strenuous sporting activities (e.g. soccer, volleyball) within 9 months of your ACL reconstruction and you are 25 years old or younger, you are 7 times more likely to sustain a second ACL tear! Those who returned to their sport 12 months after surgery fared substantially better.  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News April 2021 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Athletic Injuries PTandMe

3 Types of Athletic Injuries

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Did you know that most athletic injuries can be boiled down into three main categories?  Acute, Overuse and Chronic.  Physical therapists that specialize in sports medicine, help athletes experiencing pain get back in their sport.  From the time of the injury through recovery and performance, the licensed physical therapists that partner with PTandMe have the know-how and experience to get rid of your pain.

1.) ACUTE: Usually a result of a single traumatic event within the last five days. Examples: fractures, sprains, dislocations, muscle strains.

2.) OVERUSE: Subtle and occur over time, making them challenging to diagnose and treat. Examples: swimmer’s shoulder, runner/jumpers knee, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints.

3.) CHRONIC: Usually has lasted at least three months or more.

COMMON CAUSES OF INJURIES:

  • Improper training and technique
  • Incorrect equipment fitting and support
  • Anatomic or biomechanical issues of athlete
  • Catastrophic event on or off the field

football injury

OVERUSE INJURIES AND BURNOUT
Overuse/overtraining injuries and burnout are a major problem for adolescent athletes. Both can occur when students participate in sports year-round with no “off season”, or have insufficient recovery time between practices and games.

WATCH for typical burnout signs:

  • Pain during or after activity, or while at rest
  • Lack of enthusiasm for practices or games
  • Dip in grades

PREVENT overuse injuries and burnout with these simple tips:

  • Allow enough time for proper warm-up and cool down routines
  • Rest 1-2 days per week or engage in another activity
  • Focus on strength, conditioning or cross training during the “off season”

Did you know that 50% of all sports injuries to student athletes are a result of overuse?

SPRAIN
Sprains result from overstretching or tearing of the joint capsule or ligament which attaches a bone to another bone.

STRAIN
Strains, also referred to as pulls, result from over-stretching or tearing a muscle or tendon, which attaches a muscle region to a bone.

CONTUSIONS
Contusions or bruises are an injury to tissue or bone in which the capillaries are broken and local bleeding occurs.

TEARS
Tears are a complete separation of the tissue fibers.

Physical therapy and athletics go hand in hand. In many cases, your PT may be a former athlete that experienced an injury in their youth, and as a result found a passion for rehabilitating others. If you are experiencing pain, or have already had an injury, don’t wait to talk to your physical therapist. The faster you ask for help the faster you can get back into your sport.

For more information about physical therapy and sports medicine – try the links below:


       

This article about athletic injuries was provided by PTandMe physical therapy partner: The Center for Physical Rehabilitation. More information about the Center and their locations throughout Grand Rapids, MI can be found on their website at www.pt-cpr.com

sports medicine physical therapy

The Role of Physical Therapy in Sports Medicine

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Sports medicine through physical therapy comes in many forms. Many clinics keep licensed athletic trainers on staff that will go on-site to schools and other sporting events to act as an initial caregiver at the time of an injury. If an injury occurs, you may be referred to physical therapy. From there, your physical therapist will have an array of different programs tailored to your specific type of injury, the severity of the injury, and your fitness level. However, you don’t have to wait until you have an injury to get help from a physical therapist. Sometimes the best medicine is prevention.

WHEN YOUR BODY EXPERIENCES PAIN:

  • It’s telling you that something is wrong
  • Your body can accommodate the pain, but eventually, a breakdown will happen
  • While you accommodate to your pain, weakness and stiffness begins
  • Once you have a breakdown, pain will happen and more than likely you will stop training

Some ways physical therapists help athletes from experiencing an injury:

Sports Injury Prevention Programs: Physical Therapists offer classes and/or programs geared to specific injuries. Commonly offered programs are geared towards ACL Injury prevention, Golf Strengthening (TPI), Running Injuries, and more.

Gait Analysis for runners: A three-dimensional video assessment of a runner’s biomechanics using a state-of-the-art motion analysis system. See yourself run at variable speeds from five different camera angles. An athlete can learn how to prevent injuries and improve performance through increase cadence and strengthening/stretching.

Functional Movement Screenings (FMS): One way to determine physical weaknesses is to perform the Functional Movement Screen. FMS is an innovative system used to evaluate movement pattern quality for clients and athletes. The functional movement screen is used to identify and correct weaknesses in the movement and strength of athletes.

ONCE AN ATHLETE DOES EXPERIENCE AN INJURY, PHYSICAL THERAPY MAY INCLUDE:

  • Education on faulty or improper posture or body mechanics with training
  • Education and help with technique on exercises that help your muscles stretch farther
  • Flexibility training helps prevent cramps, stiffness, and injuries, and can give you a wider range of motion
  • Correction of muscle imbalances through flexibility and strength training
  • Endurance training
  • Kinesiotaping
  • Alleviation of pain
  • Correction improper movement patterns

If you are in need of sports medicine physical therapy, we have licensed professionals throughout the country.

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common basketball injuries

Common Basketball Injuries

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Whether you are a weekend warrior or involved in youth sports, athletes ages 5-75 can experience injuries from playing the games they love. Physical therapists are adept at working with patients suffering from common basketball injuries and can help in a variety of different ways.

One of the most common basketball injuries is an ankle sprain. An Ankle sprain is a partial or complete tear of the ligaments that support the ankle. Ankle sprains may be caused by falling or sudden twisting of the ankle, such as:
• Stepping on an uneven surface or in a hole
• Taking an awkward step when running, jumping, or stepping up or down
• Having your ankle roll over when playing sports or exercising called inversion of the foot

Physical therapy intervention is the standard for treatment of ankle sprains. Treatment for the acute ankle sprain is based primarily upon the RICE principles: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is followed quickly by a program of exercises and functional training to reduce the likelihood of chronic ankle instability. Balance and “proprioceptive” training are critical components of the rehabilitation process. In the case of a severe sprain and subsequent chronic instability, surgical intervention may be indicated.

Stress fractures are also seen frequently. A stress fracture is a tiny crack in the bone from chronic overuse. It is typically caused by repeated stress or overuse.
Causes include:
• Increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too quickly
• Switching to a different playing or running surface
• Wearing improper or old shoes
• Stress fractures can worsen by continued physical stress. Smoking can also make

Rest is the first thing you can do for a stress fracture. This includes avoiding the activity that caused the fracture and any other activities that cause pain. Rest time required is at least 6-8 weeks. Once you are ready to restart activity your physician may prescribe physical therapy. They may begin with non weightbearing activities, such as swimming, cycling, use of an Alter-G treadmill. Next, weight-bearing, nonimpact exercise may be prescribed. Gradually, low-impact activity, starting with walking, will be added to your treatment. Once you can do fast-paced walking with no pain, your physical therapist will give higher impact activities, such as light jogging.

spinning basketball

HAND INJURIES are also commonly seen in basketball. If you experience a finger injury, a hand therapist will work to make sure your fingers heal correctly and reduce the risk of long term damage.

A Boutonniere injury is usually the result of a forceful blow to the bent finger and causes a disruption of the central slip of the extensor tendon insertion at the level of the middle phalanx. The middle joint (PIP) is unable to fully straighten. If left untreated, a PIP flexion contracture can result and chronic deformity ensue. Acute boutonniere injuries are treated with PIP extension splinting continuously 4-8 weeks. Chronic boutonniere injuries with PIP flexion contractures are treated with dynamic splinting to improve passive PIP extension and static splinting for at least 4 weeks once full PIP extension is achieved.

Mallet injuries are seen commonly with ball sports and result when the terminal extensor tendon is torn from the attachment on the bone. When this occurs, a small fragment of bone may be avulsed from the distal phalanx and the end of the finger droops down and cannot be straightened actively. X rays are necessary to determine the course of treatment. Bony mallet injuries may require surgical correction. Most of these injuries can be treated conservatively with continuous DIP extension splinting for 6-8 weeks.

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PT News March 2021

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout February and March 2021. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy-based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Sports Injury Physical Therapy

1. 5 Common Sports Injuries: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Written by Wright Physical Therapy with multiple locations throughout Idaho.

Sports injuries happen, and they usually occur when engaging in sports or exercise. Sports injuries can occur due to overtraining, lack of conditioning, and improper form or technique. Failing to warm-up increases the risk of sports injuries.  Read more

 

The Cost of Being Sedentary

2. The Cost of Being Sedentary

Written by The Jackson Clinics, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia. 

While it might be easy to list off all of the benefits of exercising, we don’t typically talk about the cost of being sedentary.  In fact, a recent study by Jama followed over 100,000 adults for more than 8 years and measured their fitness using a treadmill. The participants were arranged by age and gender into performance groups:  Read more

 

Work From Home Pain Relief

3. Work-at-Home Pain Relief

Written by JACO Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group with 4 locations throughout Oahu, HI.

We have found that many of our patients are still working from home and spending more time than they anticipated working at a less-than-ideal workstation. We’ve been seeing complaints of neck pain, back pain, and wrist pain that is caused by strain from poor body mechanics while working.  Read more

We hope you enjoyed our picks for the PT News March 2021 edition.

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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Ice or Heat When in Pain

Ice vs. Heat When in Pain

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Ice or Heat When in Pain

A question physical therapists get frequently asked is whether to use ice or heat on an injury. Here are some general guidelines to help in many scenarios. If you have certain conditions such as fibromyalgia, Reflex Sympathetic Disorder (RSD), or rheumatoid arthritis, your sensory pathways are affected and don’t fall into the typical response patterns.

  • The first 24 – 48 hours after an acute injury onset, use ice. This is true even for simple muscle sprains or pulls.
  • After an activity, at the end of the day or when swelling is present, use ice. When things are inflamed, the more you do throughout the day, the more inflamed the area will get. Ice will assist in decreasing pain, inflammation, and swelling.
  • Heat, while it feels good, is contraindicated in most situations or when inflammation or swelling is present.
  • Whether heat or ice is used, you shouldn’t need to apply to the area of injury for longer than 20 minutes.

Things to know about icing:

  • Don’t ice for more than 20 minutes
  • Let your tissues fully re-warm before re-icing
  • 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off is a good rule for icing multiple times
  • If you’re icing in an area with superficial nerves (elbow), don’t ice for more than 10 minutes
  • You never want to ice before an activity. You want your muscles warm, not cold!

If your pain doesn’t subside after a few days, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. We can evaluate your injury or pain and get you back on your path to recovery.

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Looking for an ice pack and can’t find one? No worries. Making your own ice pack at home is practical and easy.

hand in ice pack

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • gallon-sized Ziploc bag

Directions:

  • Pour the water and rubbing alcohol into the bag ** Double the bag for extra protection against breakage.
  • Zip the bag shut removing as much air as possible.
  • Place the bag in the freezer until the liquid reaches a slushy mixture.
  • When ready, wrap the bag in a towel or pillowcase before applying it to the skin. (DON’T NOT APPLY BAG DIRECTLY TO SKIN)
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PT News November 2020

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This time in PT News we recap what our clinics have been posting throughout October & November 2020. We are excited to bring you current physical therapy based posts featuring published articles from PTandMe partnering clinics!

Holiday Home Exercise Program

1. 15 Minute Holiday Home Exercise Program

Created by Mishock Physical Therapy with 7 Convenient locations throughout Montgomery, Berks, and Chester Counties.

The goal of the Mishock Physical Therapy Holiday Home Exercise program is to promote the development of the individual’s ability to become strong in fundamental movement patterns (relative maximum strength) that are critical to improving function and preventing injury. The scientifically based program trains the body’s major muscle groups by focusing on the core, upper, and lower body strength through fundamental movement patterns. Read more

 

Stretching

2. 9 Ways Stretching Can Improve your Health and Wellness

Written by Cornerstone Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy practice with multiple locations throughout Ohio. 

Is stretching part of your daily life? If not, it should be. Stretching is a great way to start your day and it comes with a wide range of benefits. Don’t know where to start? Don’t fret! Our licensed physical therapists can help you create a stretching plan that will work best for you. To find out more about how daily stretches and improve your quality of life! Read more

 

breast cancer physical therapy

3. Recovery During and After Cancer Treatment: A Therapist’s Role

Written by Rebound Physical Therapy, an outpatient physical therapy group in Bend, OR, and surrounding areas.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it also is National Physical Therapy Month. As a physical therapist and certified lymphedema therapist, I am very passionate about working with patients during their journey with breast cancer.   Physical therapists (and occupational therapists) play an important role in the recovery after breast cancer treatments.  These treatments can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.  Patients can experience side effects from treatments that can impact their daily lives.  Read more

 

Find these locations and others to start feeling better today!

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prevent sports shoulder injuries

Tips to Prevent Sports Shoulder Injuries

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prevent sports shoulder injuries

If you have injured your shoulder with a fracture, strain, or a sprain, you need to rehab safely to take care of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. We usually injure our shoulders through either overuse, wear and tear of joints, trauma, or a false movement.

Common shoulder injuries include:

  • Bursitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Fracture
  • Dislocation
  • Impingement
  • Arthritis

 

Strengthening the Shoulder Muscles

The best way to avoid shoulder pain is to reduce the risk of an injury from happening. This can be done by working with your shoulder muscles to increase range-of-motion while building joint strength. As you work to strengthen your shoulder start slow and make sure to rest between practices.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, speak to a health care professional for modified exercises. 
 

Here are some exercises that can help get lessen mild shoulder pain and prevent an injury from occurring.

 

1. External rotation with retraction
This exercise uses a gentle resistance band arm workout to help your shoulder.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a long resistance band in both hands.
  • Have your elbows at your side (bent about 90 degrees) with your palms facing up.
  • Now gently move your forearms out to the side, about 6 to 8 inches.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as best you can. Your forearms will move out a little bit further.
  • Hold in this position for a short pause, then return to your starting position.

 

2. Side-lying external rotation

  • Lie down on your side on a mat, with your weight on your elbow if you wish.
  • Place a rolled-up towel underneath your top arm (bent) to rest between your arm and your hip.
  • Hold a small weight (1/2kg – 2 kg depending on your size and strength) in your hand.
  • Start with the weight on the floor in front of your body, and rotate your arm slowly from the elbow.
  • Your hand should come up so that your lower arm is almost perpendicular to your body. Don’t go too far, as that will put stress on your shoulder.
  • Gently bring your hand back down, and repeat. Do this exercise slowly.

 

3. Shoulder abduction with anchored resistance
This exercise uses a resistance band anchored under your feet

  • Hold the band in your hand, thumb facing up
  • Lift your arm straight out to the side to shoulder height, and lower it back down.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for up to 10 reps
  • Switch arms and repeat

 

4. Bilateral shoulder extension
For this exercise, grab your long resistance band and stand with your feet hip-distance apart.

  • Pass the resistance band around the net post, or if you’re doing this at home, around a pillar or another stationary object at hip height.
  • Position yourself far enough away from the anchor point that there is tension in the band.
  • Hold one end the resistance band in your hands with your palms facing up, and your thumbs rotated outward.
  • Keeping a tight hold of the resistance band, bring your arms back (keep them straight) until it is against your side.
  • Bring your shoulder back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

 

When is it time to get help?

Shortly after an injury or pain, you should start with the first steps of recovery rest, ice, and protection. If your shoulder pain doesn’t subside, a physical therapist can help guide you through a treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs. If you experience pain while doing an exercise program, stop immediately, and consult your healthcare provider.

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Physical therapy for basketball players

Physical Therapy for NBA Players

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Physical therapy for basketball players

Playing basketball is all about speed, fast breaks, agility, and high-impact movements. It is a vertical sport that includes jumping and landing activities that might lead to injuries.

Some of the best NBA players’ careers have been ruined because of injuries. This makes the need for physical therapists important, especially for NBA players.

A physical therapist working with basketball players knows the key factors that help minimize injury risk and maximize performance.

Certain injuries are more common in basketball and can impact a player’s overall performance in the game.

Here are the most common basketball injuries.

1- ACL and MCL Injuries

ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of the key ligaments that connect the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). It helps stabilize your knee joint. ACL injury happens when a player stops suddenly or changes the direction, resulting in stretching and tearing in the knee tissue.

On the other hand, MCL refers to a thick band of tissue on the inside of your knee that connects the thigh bone to your lower leg. MCL (medial collateral ligament) injury happens when the side of your knee is hit hard. It could be due to a collision with another player.

2- Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are common in basketball, caused by overextension or a loss of balance when moving quickly. Basketball players are most likely to injure their ankle when they slow down, pivot, or land after a jump.

When the ankle rolls outward, the ligaments that connect the bones can stretch and tear. The injury could be as minor as stretching and as major as complete tearing of the ligamentous complex.

3- Fractured Kneecaps

In basketball, the kneecap fracture is mainly caused when the player lands directly on the kneecap. This can also happen if the knee is in a semi-flexed position during a fall.

The pain in this injury is felt behind the kneecap, where the knee meets the thigh bone. The pain is the result of excessive joint pressure due to poor kneecap alignment, affecting the joint surface behind the kneecap.

4- Hip and Thigh Contusions

Pelvis, hip, and thigh injuries in professional basketball players are extra-articular strains and contusions.

Hip and thigh contusions are common in sports like basketball, soccer, and football due to player-to-player contact. A sudden force to the quadriceps muscle causes the injury, which can significantly damage the tissue. This force is usually caused by another player, a sport attribute, or a misplaced fall on a severe object.

5- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome refers to the pain in the front of the knee and around the kneecap. Sports players who participate in games that involve running, jumping, or squatting, frequently are more likely to face patellofemoral pain syndrome.

The increase in training intensity or volume puts repeated stress in the knee, resulting in pain behind the kneecap. Players with a tight hamstring, weak thigh, and hip muscles are at a higher risk.

 

Physical Therapy for Basketball Players

Physical therapy helps players avoid injury in the first place with targeted training. Most physical therapy programs for basketball players include stretching, strengthening, and conditioning.

1- Stretching Exercises for Inflexible Areas of the Body

After an evaluation, a physical therapist can work closely with athletes do determine the best treatment plan moving forward.  Some common stretches used for basketball players include:

● Rotating stomach and side stretch
● Squatting leg-out groin and adductor Stretch
● Single heel-drop calf and Achilles stretch.

These basketball stretches are best after the workout to improve flexibility.

2- Strengthening Exercises for Weak Muscles or Muscle Imbalance

Every basketball player has a difference in strength, power, and stability between their right and left legs. The players’ dominant leg plays a role in imbalance. Players prefer to use the stronger leg, which increases the chances of injury when the weaker leg is forced to use. To help identify these imbalances, a physical therapist may recommend a Functional Movement Screening (FMS). An FMS is a quantifiable method of evaluating basic movement abilities, and will help your therapist determine and address areas of weakness and imbalance.

3- Manual (Hands-on) Therapy to Address Any Sore or Painful Areas

Manual therapy involves kneading and manipulating soft tissues and joints, which increase circulation, reduce scar tissue, relax muscles, and decrease pain. This hands-on approach combined with a full treatment plan often yields faster recovery times.

4- Basketball-specific Training That Mimics the Action on the Court

Basketball training should be relevant to the game to produce desired results. A basketball player’s training must go from highly general to very specific. The goal of basketball conditioning is to create a practice that is highly specific to the game. This maximizes players’ focus on skill and tactical development while reducing the chances of injuries during the match.

Final Thoughts

Injuries like ACL, MCL, and ankle sprains are more common in basketball. Prevention of injuries is an essential aspect of an athlete’s healthcare. Comprehensive physical therapy programs are generally provided to the NBA players. If you are in pain or looking to avoid a basketball injury on the court, please find the physical therapist nearest you.

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