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Sports physiotherapy is a specialised segment of physical therapy that deals with the physical issues and injuries sustained by athletes.

Due to the high levels of stress that athletes place on their bodies during their intensive physical activities, muscles and joints are pushed to their limits and can result in injuries more severe than those which typically happen in day-to-day life.

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Sports physiotherapists specialise in these injuries and usually have sport-specific knowledge which allows them the address the acute, chronic and overuse injuries associated with the athletes sport. Sports physiotherapists can develop individualized plans for the treatment and prevention of sports injuries. 

As a sports physiotherapist you may:
  • Examine and diagnose injuries
  • Plan treatment and prevention programmes
  • Use methods such as manipulation, massage, heat treatment, electrotherapy and hydrotherapy
Sports physiotherapists work with men and women of all ages who are engaged in sports of any level, from amateur competitions to professional levels.

How to become a sports physiotherapist.

Like all physiotherapists, to be legally registered by state registration boards in Australia formal qualifications are required. Aspiring sports physios will need to complete a four year undergraduate degree which typically involves a variety of practical placements as well as university-based study and research.

Several personal traits are also desirable to be an effective sports physiotherapist including high levels of communication and being able to apply problem solving skills to diagnosis and treatment of the problem at hand.

Postgraduate courses in sports physiotherapy are also offered at universities throughout Australia, and are held in high regard internationally. Due to the ongoing changes in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries sports physiotherapists will want to stay up-to-date with ongoing education.

Next steps

Click here to browse the current range of physiotherapy courses advertised on HealthTimes. The HealthTimes website will forward your enquiry directly to the university and education provider of your choice.

You can find out more information about becoming a physiotherapist by clicking here

Industry bodies

For related information on sports physiotherapy, visit the Australian Institute of Sport or the Australian Physiotherapy Association.


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