Sports Physical Therapy
A sports injury that affects the muscles, tendons, ligaments and other parts of the musculoskeletal system requires immediate care by a sports medicine specialist. At Duke, our sports physical therapists work closely with orthopaedic surgeons and primary care doctors who specialize in sports medicine. We evaluate sports injuries and create a sports injury treatment plan that returns you to normal -- and in some cases improved -- activity as fast and safely as possible.
How can sports physical therapy help me?
Whether you are a weekend warrior, student or professional athlete, sports physical therapy can help you prevent or rehabilitate from a sports or activity-related injury. We work to restore your optimal function, and even improve your sports performance.
Sports physical therapists are a vital part of your medical team if you have experienced an injury that affects a joint, tendon, muscle or ligament. At Duke, we work side by side sports medicine doctors in our sports medicine clinics throughout the Triangle. Our close interaction with your doctor means we work as a team to plan your treatment. Depending on the severity of your injury, physical therapy may be the first treatment your doctor recommends. If you're your injury requires surgery, a sports physical therapist can help you prepare for surgery, and oversee your physical rehabilitation after surgery.
We are focused on helping athletes return to their sport as safely and quickly as possible and often in better condition than before your injury. Whether your goal is to walk your dog every day, play youth or collegiate sports, or return to professional sports, we will work with you to help you achieve your goals.
What you should look for in a sports physical therapist
- Our therapists have a vast array of skill and knowledge that covers the vast spectrum of sports physical therapy needs.
- Our sports physical therapists are specialists in age-specific concerns that can arise in young athletes or following joint replacement in older individuals. We have specialists that focus on activity-specific populations including baseball pitchers, dancers, runners, throwers and tennis players. In addition, we have staff trained in advanced physical therapy treatments including concussion treatment, aquatic therapy, and dry needling.
- Credentialing ensures your physical therapist has the advanced skills needed to treat your injury. While all of our physical therapists are licensed physical therapists, 60 percent of our staff also carry are also certified and licensed athletic trainers.
- Eighty percent of our eligible staff members are board certified by the American Physical Therapy Association in sports physical therapy. They have the knowledge, skill, and experience to care for your sports injury.
- Our facilities contain the most advanced equipment, and our physical therapists are experts in the latest techniques and tools available. We use lasers, dry needling, and other innovative therapies to help your body heal faster.
More reasons to choose Duke sports physical therapy for your care
- Our physical therapists are on the field and in the training rooms at high schools and colleges, youth soccer leagues and gymnastic programs throughout the region. When an injury occurs, we provide care on site and arrange for care at a nearby Duke clinic. Often this results in the same day or next day appointments for the injured athlete.
- Ongoing research conducted onsite at Duke Sports Medicine and throughout Duke gives us the opportunity to ask questions that translate into research projects. This, turn, provides answers that we can apply in order to provide the best possible care.
SPORTS PHYSICAL THERAPY
We do a comprehensive physical therapy evaluation to determine how a sports injury impacts your range of motion, strength, and function. We then create a treatment plan and educate you on how to reach your realistic movement goals. In addition to traditional PT exercises, our services cover the full range of physical therapy treatments including:
Focus on restoration of range of motion, strength and proper biomechanics.
A “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, is inserted through the skin into areas of irritable parts of the muscle, known as trigger points, which is causing pain or muscle tightness and restriction. Assists in pain relief and normalization of the body part.
Sports physical therapists who are certified in manual therapy use their hands to manipulate and mobilize joints. This decreases pain associated with muscle spasm, tension, and pain related to joint issues.
Sprains, strains, tendonitis and other soft tissue injuries may benefit from this type of manual therapy which applies pressure and/or lengthens the affected tissue. Depending on the joint or injury, a variety of instruments may also be used as part of the therapy.
Manual techniques and specific exercises correct an individual’s natural posture and movement patterns.
Low power lasers stimulate injured tissue and promote the healing process.