Playing sports is beneficial in many ways. It can help improve physical fitness, and playing sports can also help you reduce work- or life-related stress. However, playing sports can also open you up to sports injuries. This is particularly true if you’re a part-time amateur athlete. Amateur athletes in Kalamazoo, Michigan, have access to physical therapy services that can help prevent sports injuries, and there are two services that may be particularly helpful for achieving this goal.
1. Gait evaluation
Many sports require some type of leg movement. Football, soccer, basketball and rugby players run, and so do runners. Even golfers have to walk around while they’re playing. What you might not know is that the way your legs are moving could put you at higher risk of an injury. This is why you should consider having a gait analysis if you want to prevent sports injuries.
Gait is the way your legs, knees, ankles and feet move as you walk or run, and a gait evaluation is designed to search for any abnormalities that are increasing your risk of a sports injury. An example of such an abnormality is a muscle imbalance in your legs. To perform a gait analysis, a physical therapist will have you come in and walk on a treadmill. As you walk, your gait will be recorded with multiple high-speed digital camcorders that are hooked up to a specialized computer program. Your therapist will then study the recording and note any gait issues, and they can then help you develop a plan to treat these issues before they lead to an injury.
2. Shoe and orthotic evaluation
Another physical therapy service that’s intended to help prevent sports injuries is a shoe and orthotic evaluation. The shoes you wear can either help or hinder your ability to avoid sports injuries. For instance, a shoe that doesn’t support the arch of your foot properly can lead to plantar fasciitis, and footwear with insufficient cushioning can place more strain on the knees. This additional strain can lead to knee problems like patellofemoral pain syndrome or runner’s knee.
A certified physical therapist can evaluate the shoes you’re wearing and let you know if they could put you at risk of injuring yourself. These specialists can also make recommendations about the best shoe characteristics for your feet, such as arch support and cushioning level. They can even help you find orthotic insoles for your shoes that are customized to your needs, and all this can lead to a decreased risk of injuring yourself during amateur sports.
Advent Physical Therapy in Kalamazoo, MI, offers many sports injury prevention services
Our Advent Physical Therapy clinic in Kalamazoo can build a multifaceted sports injury prevention plan for you. We offer free screenings that are intended to pinpoint issues that may increase your risk of injury. Our team has many techniques at our disposal, and some of the techniques we may include in your personalized therapy plan are:
- Therapeutic exercises
- Gait evaluation
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
- Shoe and orthotic evaluation
- Manual therapy
- Lactate threshold testing
Take the next step to get our help with sports injury prevention and treatment. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.