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How Physio can help Sports performance

If you play sport then you may have seen a physio for injury rehabilitation - but did you know physiotherapy can also improve your sporting performance, show you how to reduce the risk of injuries and teach you how to stretch and warm up correctly?

About sports injuries

The most common sporting injuries (according to ACC) are to the head, shoulders, hamstrings, knees and ankles. Most sports injuries are easily preventable, which is where a physio comes in. They can help you rehabilitate from an injury, show you how to prevent one occurring or work with you to improve your sporting performance.

When should I see a physio?

As a general guideline you should see a physio if:

  • You cannot continue normal sporting, work or daily acitivites; or
  • Your injury is recurrent; or
  • You are concerned about record from your injury.

Remember you don’t need a referral from your doctor to see a physio and any physio that is an ACC provider is able to lodge a claim for you.

How can I prevent injuries?

Here are some tips to help prevent injuries.

  1. Start off slowly
  2. Balance between training and recovery
  3. Don’t train through pain
  4. Warm up and stretch
  5. Cross train
  6. Get the right gear
  7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Ask a sports physio - your questions answered (free ebook)

Download this free book which answers 10 sports physiotherapy questions - as submitted by the public on our Facebook page. You'll find tips, advice and answers from 10 expert physiotherapists from around New Zealand.

  • How to prevent shin splints
  • Whether to use strapping or bracing when coming back from an injury
  • What causes cramps and how to get rid of them
  • The best advice on warm ups and what types of stretches to use
  • Whether to use hot or cold water for recovery

How can physiotherapy help?

Injury prevention
Feel like you're waiting for an injury to happen? Take the proactive approach and see a physio for injury prevention advice and techniques.

Your physio can help with:

  • Identifying any previous injuiries that have not healed.
  • Teaching correct techniques for warming up and stretching.
  • Prescribing an injury prevention programme specifically tailored to you and your sport.
  • Giving you a biomechanical screening assessment.
  • Prescribing an individual exercise programme to correct any muscle imblances and improve your movement patterns.

Injury rehabilitation and management
Your physio can conduct a thorough assessment to get an accurate diagnosis and will design a treatment and management programme that's just right for you and your sport.

Your physio can help with:

  • Postural education
  • Joint mobilisation and manipulation
  • Specific rehabilitation exercises
  • Strapping and taping
  • Developing a programme for a safe return to training, or modifying your training to suit
  • Referring you to another health professional if your injury needs further investigation

Sports performance
Looking for a boost in your sports performance? A physio can help with a screening assessment and an indivudal performance plan to address any weak areas.

Your physio can help with:

  • Sport specific conditioning to meet your goals
  • Home and gym-based strength and flexiblity training
  • Exercises to improve your efficency of movement patterns
  • Core stability programmes (such as pilates)
  • Improving your breathing control
  • Biomechanical screening assessment to identify any faulty movement patterns that may be impacting on your performance
  • Many physios also offer video analysis of your activity and movements



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