A sports injury physiotherapist is a medical professional who helps individuals, particularly athletes, prevent and recover from injury and surgery. A physiotherapist diagnoses injuries and plans rehabilitation programs to restore flexibility, strength, and movement. The medical professional is skilled in understanding the human anatomy and may be trained in a variety of the latest scientific techniques and holistic methods. A sports injury physiotherapist’s education is heavily concentrated on physiotherapy, and he often works in different settings including private practices, health clubs, hospitals, and gyms, as well as for professional sports teams.
In order to gain employment, a sports injury physiotherapist will need to take classes in anatomy, physiology, psychology, biology, and pharmacology. A person will typically need to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in medical science with a focus on physiotherapy. Most states require a physiotherapist to be certified before he can be hired. In order to gain board certification, a person will need to take a test through the state board of physiotherapy in the state where he wants to work.
A sports injury physiotherapist may work with a wide range of clients. A major responsibility of a physiotherapist is to instruct athletes about healthy training and injury prevention methods. The physiotherapist meets with athletes, educating them about proper warm-ups, workouts, and cool-down methods.
Besides athletes, a physiotherapist assists the elderly, children, and people with serious neurological conditions or who have suffered musculoskeletal injuries. The physiotherapist is adept in a wide range of hands-on techniques to help patients and clients, including range-of-motion exercises and first aid. Also, a physiotherapist employs other methods, such as massage techniques, electrotherapy, acupuncture, ice stimulation, and hydrotherapy.
Certain skills are required for a sports injury physiotherapist to be successful, particularly an interest in sports and health science, and a desire to help others. A physiotherapist needs to be receptive to the needs and disabilities of her patients. She also should be a good communicator and motivator and be able to demonstrate and explain techniques in order for people to remain in good heath or recover from injury. The profession typically requires moving and lifting patients from wheelchairs and managing heavy pieces of rehabilitation equipment, which requires a sports injury physiotherapist to be in good shape.
The hours and salary of a sports injury physiotherapist will vary, depending on skill level and place of employment. A physiotherapist may expect to earn on average more than $60,000 a year. A professional may work weekends and up to 16 hours a day, particularly if he is employed by a professional sports team.