Is There a Difference between Sports Massage and Physiotherapy?
As is the case with the orthopaedic surgeon and the osteopath, it is not uncommon for there to be a degree of overlap between the interests of medical personnel whose expertise may be focused on maladies affecting the same regions of the body, which in this case, are conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. In practice, there is a similarly close connection between the broader discipline of physiotherapy and the more limited focus of the sports therapist. Both fields, for example, are likely to make use of massage therapy as a means to alleviate pain and stiffness. It is therefore not uncommon for these specialists to treat similar conditions in much the same manner.
In practice, of course, what is important is ensuring patients receive the most appropriate treatment, and that it is correctly performed, rather than the particular type of therapist who will deliver it. Consequently, many practices, quite sensibly, are multidisciplinary, and will often employ staff members with differing skill sets in order to provide their patients with a more holistic service. In the case in point, the lengthier training of the physiotherapist, which must include an undergraduate medical qualification, provides greater insight into the diagnostic process, and a broader knowledge of the many disorders that can affect nerves and the respiratory and musculoskeletal systems. Consequently, treatments ranging from sports massage and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, to acupuncture and breathing exercises all fall within the purview of the physiotherapist.
The normal effect of repetitive physical exercise is to develop strength, and to maintain active muscle. However, when overdone or accidents occur, it can result in imbalances and injuries in soft tissues that cause pain and discomfort, thus impeding an athlete’s performance. More often than not, the solution will be a course of sports massage. Professionally applied, it is able to speed up recovery from trauma. In addition, it is also an effective means to enhance performance and to prevent injury when applied before and after exercise. Its effect is to promote the breakdown of accumulated toxins, and to realign displaced muscle fibres and connective tissue, thus helping to improve flexibility and joint mobility.
Different sporting activities will often be dependent upon different muscle groups, and so, the therapist must focus his or her treatments on those areas appropriate to the activities of each patient. In addition to the skills involved in its application, the therapists, who specialise in sports massage, also require a knowledge of the activities that are most often responsible for its need and the soft tissues involved. Justine Mokgoatjana Physiotherapy offers a wide range of healing treatments by experienced specialists.