One of the common reasons people might need physical therapy is for a sports-related injury. Whether a specific traumatic event or just prolonged practice of a sport led to the discomfort, physical therapists can often help. 

What Physical Therapists Do

Physical therapists focus on promoting mobility and physical function, as well as alleviating pain that may accompany certain motions. They do so by creating treatments, such as manual physical therapy, IASTM, and dry needling, targeting the parts of the body we depend on for motion: bones, muscles, tendons, etc. Treatments usually take place over a specific time span. The time treatment occurs over is usually determined by the physical therapist and the patient working together to combine what is medically necessary and the comfort and expectations of the patient. So what are some of the injuries commonly treated?

Manual Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow occurs when tendons in the elbow are strained or overloaded. This is often due to repetitive motions, such as those used when practicing tennis. However, this injury can happen to anyone making similar repetitive motions, not just tennis players. 

The first symptom of tennis elbow is pain in the elbow, forearm, or sometimes in the wrist. Swelling may also occur. In these cases, seeking medical advice is a good way to begin the road to recovery. Your physical therapist will create a treatment plan that will help you regain motion of the affected area without the discomfort that comes from tennis elbow.

Physical Therapy for Swimmer’s Shoulder

Swimmer’s shoulder is a condition in which shoulder motion becomes painful due to overuse. It is seen in swimmers, but like tennis elbow, is not exclusive to the sport by any means. In fact, according to some estimates, over 100,000 people per year experience pain related to swimmer’s shoulder.

The symptoms of swimmer’s shoulder can vary, but most often appear as pain in the shoulder, neck, or even in the affected arm. Stiff joints and limited range of motion from pain can follow. Physical therapists work with those experiencing swimmer’s shoulder to create a treatment plan, usually to be completed over several months, that will lessen discomfort and aim to bring back normal motion.

Physical Therapy for Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee actually refers to several conditions, all of which cause pain in or around the kneecap. This pain usually stems from damage to the shock-absorbing cartilage under the kneecap.

Symptoms of runner’s knee can result from injury or overuse. These symptoms include experiencing pain when walking, running, or engaging in other activities that require motion involving the knees. Physical therapists develop treatment plans for runner’s knee based on each patient’s situation. Many treatments involve stretching and strengthening exercises for the affected area.

Find a San Marcos Physical Therapist

If you’ve been diagnosed with tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, or runner’s knee, a physical therapist can help. The discomfort, pain, and even loss of motion that comes with these conditions doesn’t have to keep you away from your favorite activities forever. Instead, working with a professional physical therapist to learn healthy techniques for healing and strengthening your body can leave you feeling better than before.  

Have questions about manual or IASTM physical therapy and how these treatments can help a sports-related injury? Need to visit a physical therapist sooner rather than later? Contact Limitless Physical Therapy and Wellness, a San Marcos physical therapy clinic, to make an appointment or to learn more.