Physical Therapy or Sports Medicine

Physical therapy is based on how the function limitations of a particular person’s body affect their ability to move. Sports medicine is based on what kind of injury a person received as a result of physical activity. However, both physical therapy and sports medicine can help you recover from injuries, reduce pain, eliminate limb stiffness, and improve movement.

What Is the Purpose of Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy helps patients to develop, maintain and restore motor and functional abilities to the maximum extent possible.

Physical therapists use physical (natural) methods of influence on the client, based on movement, manual influence, massage, reflexology, and the action of heat, light, water, etc. But the focus of physical therapy is the movement, and the most active, which is initiated by the patient himself. Physical therapists consider its restoration and maintenance the main goal of their activities.

Physical therapists aim at: 

  • restoring and maintaining as much as possible a person’s ability to move and independence, 
  • preventing or limiting the development of complications, such as contractures, deformities, and bedsores, 
  • helping the client control pain and maintain the functions of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

What Problems Does Sports Medicine Solve?

Sports medicine includes theoretical and practical medicine. She considers the impact of physical activity and culture, sports on sports (professionals and amateurs) and non-sports people, developing the prevention of sports injuries, their treatment, as well as the rehabilitation of this group of patients.

Unlike other branches of medicine, in sports medicine, not only the correct diagnosis is important, but also the importance of physical activity for health, as well as the possibility and intensity of practicing a particular sport after an injury. Sports medicine physicians study the impact of physical activity and its lack on the human body.

Any sport is considered traumatic, regardless of whether you are doing Pilates or weightlifting. Each sport is characterized by its injuries, for example, runners most often suffer from ankle and knee joints, athletes — the spine, and so on. The diagnosis takes into account the type of sport, its specificity with possible characteristic injuries. Methods of visual and manual examinations are applied, and reflexes and symptoms are studied.

Physical therapy and sports medicine have several similarities. Using a set of physical exercises and other evidence-based methods will provide active physical rehabilitation to improve the functioning of the musculoskeletal system and the body as a whole. It also helps you restore or compensate for impaired or lost functions and increase muscle endurance and strength, and improve balance and coordination.

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