What Can Physical Therapy Aide Training Teach You About Sports Rehab?


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Physical therapy aides assist patients in their rehabilitation from a variety of injuries, including sports-related injuries.

Physical therapy aide training prepares you to assist in a variety of rehabilitation areas. You may assist patients in a hospital environment as they recover from surgeries; help in an outpatient clinic as individuals recover from injuries; or even work one-on-one with patients in a home environment.

What is Sports Rehab?

Sports rehab is a specific area of physical therapy that deals with athletes and individuals recovering from injuries sustained while playing a sport or doing something athletic. The goal is to recover strength and movement in the injured area, as well as strengthening the surrounding muscles and tissues, and the body overall, to help preserve the body from future injury. Having specialized training in physical therapy, including didactic knowledge and hands-on techniques, prepares you to more effectively treat patients and aid their recovery.

Physical Therapy Aide Training

Training to be a physical therapy aide begins with a good deal of classroom learning. Courses in anatomy and physiology deepen your understanding of how the body systems are connected and how injuries can affect different parts of the body that may seem quite separate from the injured site. Other courses that may be taken include kinesiology, pathology and hygiene, which all serve to increase awareness of how the body works, what the effects of injury are, and how to properly care for and treat injuries to preserve function and prevent infection.

Importance of Therapeutic Massage Techniques

One valuable course that is a part of physical therapy aide training at many vocational schools, including Southern California Institute of Health (SOCHi), is massage training. Various types of massage play an important role in helping a patient to recover from injury, including medical massage therapy as well as specific modalities such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy.

As it applies to sports rehab, massage training is invaluable. For many individuals, whether professional athletes or casual enthusiasts, massage techniques can help to relieve pain, release tension in muscles and body tissues, and to relax the individual. Stress can have a very negative effect on recovering from injuries, so relief to any extent will only serve to speed the recovery process.

Sports Rehab Components

As a physical therapy aide working in the sports rehab area, you will frequently encounter sprains and strains, the two most common injuries sustained when involved in sports or other activities. Other types of injuries encountered may include fractures, joint replacement, arthritis and pain issues.

Pain issues are usually the first to be addressed. Ice or heat application, ultrasound treatments and electrical stimulation are all possibilities for addressing injury-related or chronic pain. Massage therapy can also be helpful in relieving pain, pressure, and tension in muscles and increasing circulation to those areas to promote healing.

Educating individuals about their injuries and how to prevent future injuries is also an important quality that a trained physical therapy aide can bring to sports rehab. Understanding how your body works, and how to prevent future injuries, not only helps you heal now, but prevents you from being injured later.

Physical therapy aide training and sports rehab are intimately connected. If you are interested in treating recovering athletes of any experience level, the training provided in a physical therapy aide program is invaluable, providing you with the knowledge and tools you need. Medical basics, massage techniques, and a thorough knowledge of body mechanics are necessary to be a successful sports rehab therapist, and completing SOCHi’s Physical Therapy Aide training program provides just that.

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