Too often, athletes list the most common form of treatment received after an injury as “ice and stim” with “stim” referring to electrical stimulation to the affected painful area. While this is an effective treatment option in the initial stage of injury, it may not be enough and needs to be followed up with additional treatment methods. The physical therapist should provide myofascial release (massage) and stretching to the inflamed tissue allowing for increased range of motion, flexibility and strength resulting in an increase in athletic performance.
Most importantly, specific progressive strengthening, neuromuscular re-education, balance, stability and gait training should all be incorporated during rehab. When comparing the comprehensive treatment methods listed above to the commonly used and basic treatment of “ice and stim”, it is apparent that there is no comparison at all.
An expert orthopedic and sports, doctorate level, physical therapist will be able to improve the athletes’ performance and most importantly, limit their risk of injury. Athletes, like our patients, deserve the very best treatments and the appropriate treatment helps us deliver just that!
Dr. Parsa Karimi PT, DPT
Author of “How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist”