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Sports Physiotherapy

Sports physiotherapy is a strand of physiotherapy that is dedicated to sports injuries. These treatment techniques can be used on a range of active individuals from elite athletes to patients who have exerted themselves in sports practice and exercises.

Everything you need to know

Sports physiotherapy is a strand of physiotherapy that is dedicated to sports injuries.

These treatment techniques can be used on a range of active individuals from elite athletes to patients who have exerted themselves in sports practice and exercises.

A sports physiotherapist can diagnose an issue and offer patients support to help improve symptoms. In many cases, a sports therapist can help you completely restore your strength and range of motion, so you can get back to the sport you love.

Before therapy

Some people will be referred for sports physiotherapy by their GP or a specialist doctor.

However, you can refer yourself if you would like some help after an injury, are experiencing longer term pain and stiffness that is affecting your sports performance, or if you would simply like some advice on reducing injury risk and improving your strength and flexibility.

At your first appointment, your physiotherapist will ask you about any issues and what you would like to achieve from therapy. They will also conduct a physical examination and run you through some movements so they can ascertain your current range of motion, strength and function, and pain levels.

After this, if your issue is more severe, they may refer you for a scan or on to a specialist consultant. Alternatively, they will work with you to set goals and will create a tailored programme. This could include exercises to practice at home, massage, and physical aides such as a splint, compression garments or tools to help you exercise.

During therapy

Our sports physiotherapists have helped many patients recover after an injury, as well as those suffering from longer-term issues. Our physiotherapists will teach you how to improve your movement and flexibility, increase your strength and reduce your pain.

Often, a lack of strength is the reason why injuries occur in sports. However, with a regular rehabilitation routine, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make a full recovery.

There are many types of physiotherapy techniques. We offer:

  • Tailored exercise programmes
  • Gym-based rehab and strengthening
  • Joint mobilisation and soft tissue techniques
  • Acupuncture
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Return to sports and end-stage rehab

Should your physiotherapist prescribe an exercise routine, they will show you the proper technique for each exercise at our on-site gym so you feel confident when you get home.

After therapy

Typically, you should see your physiotherapist every fortnight to start with and then less regularly as your symptoms improve. A sports physiotherapy programme can vary in length from a few weeks to a few months. During this time, you will also need to practice exercises at home regularly and consistently. The better you comply with your therapist’s programme, the more you should improve.

If you are struggling with any part of your treatment, let your physiotherapist know, as they will be able to modify your programme or suggest other treatment options.

How to pay for your treatment

If you’re… paying for yourself

Did you know you don’t need private medical insurance to come to St John & St Elizabeth Hospital? As a self-pay patient, you can access safe, outstanding quality health care at times to suit you.

For scans and tests, as well as to see most consultants, you’ll still need to be referred by a medical professional like your GP, but as a self-pay patient, the process is more straightforward. You won’t need authorisation from an insurance provider, and you’ll have greater choice of therapist and appointment times.

If you’re… insured

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is approved by all major medical insurance companies. If you have a personal private health insurance policy, or your company provide it for you, you can use it to pay for your care from your initial consultation through to treatment, surgery and aftercare such as physiotherapy. Not all private health insurance plans cover the same things. It’s very important to check exactly what you are covered for with your insurance provider.



You can book an appointment to see one of our therapists yourself, alternatively, your GP or orthopaedic surgeon may refer you to our service. If you refer yourself, you can either call us or send an email explaining your problem. Your request will be triaged by a member of our therapy team who will then let you know whether you should book an appointment with us or book to see one of our orthopaedic consultants in the first instance.


Pre-op appointment

If you have surgery arranged with your doctor, they may recommend you see physio to start pre-hab. This is the process of strengthening the muscles around the affected body part to aid with your recovery after your operation. This may be for several weeks before your surgery.


Treatment plan

At your first appointment, you’ll go through your medical history, how the current problem is limiting you and goals for therapy. You will undergo a thorough assessment including range of motion, pain, strength as well as go through some specific tests. Your therapist will create a tailored treatment plan that could include splinting, an exercise programme or activity modification.


Post-op assessment

If you have had surgery, your surgeon will refer you to our therapy service, where we will provide aftercare. Depending on the procedure you had, your therapist and surgeon will agree the steps you should take for optimal recovery as well as give you specific advice for returning to your normal activities. This is crucial to help avoid complications after an operation.



You will have regular follow-up appointments, which will continue until your problem is either resolved or you are effectively able to manage it. If you were referred by a surgeon, you will also have regular follow-ups with them. Your therapist and surgeon will meet regularly and collaboratively create a recovery plan, which ensures the best possible outcomes for you.