World Physiotherapy Day: Sports physiotherapy is tapping untapped potential in India

Rupal Sancheti
Tuesday, 8 September 2020

A lot of careers in sports do not come to fulfilment because of injuries. If they do not have enough knowledge on how to recover from these injuries, they will not be able to go ahead. It is in these fields that physiotherapists can play a major role in India. 

Gone are the days when physiotherapy was majorly concerned with orthopaedic problems. Physiotherapists of yesteryear were known only for healing your back and neck pain. Nowadays, physiotherapists are going beyond a post-operative rehabilitation treatment approach. Many physiotherapists are providing the same kind of care to budding physiotherapists that professional athletes receive.  

Budding sportspersons are getting trained from sports physiotherapists:  

Elite sportspersons are taking consultations abroad for injuries. But budding sportspersons do not have access or resources to take training from physiotherapists. But it is these budding sportspersons who will play at the international level if proper guidance is given. 

A lot of careers in sports do not come to fulfilment because of injuries. If they do not have enough knowledge on how to recover from these injuries, they will not be able to go ahead. It is in these fields that physiotherapists can play a major role in India. 

Physiotherapists are becoming recovery partners with sports clubs. Physiotherapists are offering sports clubs their services and becoming their recovery partners. They have also drafted performance enhancement programmes for budding sportspersons. Many physiotherapists, these days, work under the code of conduct related to various sports. Physiotherapists are advising on safe participation, maximise performance, and avoid injuries.  

For sportspersons, detailed assessment and extensive training programs are coming up. Nowadays, physiotherapists are working for early identification of risk factors, injury prevention, and performance enhancement of sportspersons. 

Education in sports physiotherapy 

The field of physiotherapy has seen many interesting developments in the recent past in India. With more awareness, this healing mechanism is becoming more popular not only among people but also among healthcare professionals. Many are opting for masters in sports physiotherapy programs. According to the data released by National Sports Physiotherapy Conference in 2018, masters in sports physiotherapy programs offered colleges have gone up by 25 per cent in the last five years since 2018. At present, there is a dearth of quality sports physiotherapists, and the demand is going to go up in the future. 

Physiotherapists are helping corporate executives to become fit for sports 

Corporate executives are taking up running marathons in a big way. Physiotherapists are training CEOs of companies for many new marathons that are coming up. They are training amateur sportsperson of every orientation to get their bodies fit for sports. There are many office-goers whose bodies are suffering from a sedentary lifestyle and who want to start playing and they are seeking help from physiotherapists to get their bodies flexible.  

The special techniques which are used for preventing injury and improving athletic performance are sought after frequently in recent times. Techniques like cupping, deep-tissue massage, dry needling, assisted stretching and KT taping are widely available. Many recreational athletes are taking up these specialized therapies frequently.  

Yet, there's a lot of scope for creating awareness. There is a need to create an awareness in the society that a scientific approach can lead to a big difference in the performance of any amateur athlete. People need to be made aware that physiotherapy can train budding sportspersons so that they avoid future injuries.  

(Rupal Sancheti is the Director of HealYos, a Home-Physiotherapy Centre powered by Sancheti Hospital, Pune.) 

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