My name is Lucie Svobodova and I am a qualified graduated sports therapist working under the professional body of Society of Sports Therapists. During my career, I have been working with Cardiff Blues professional rugby team, semi-professional rugby team in Pontypridd Rugby Club as well as occasionally working for GB Ice Hockey Team. Later on in 2017 I opened my first private clinic where I was treating private patients to help them recover from various injuries and pains.
Abernethy Sports Therapy is an injury and pain clinic which is located in the stunning grounds of Abernethy Golf Club in the heart of the Highlands, within the Cairngorms National Park. It is easily accessible from Aviemore and Grantown on Spey which makes it a great option for anyone who suffers with pains and injuries. I am focusing on treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and pains in athletes as well as non-athletes and the general public.
Do you think that you don’t need sports therapy? I have only one explanation. You don’t know that you need it yet :)
I have started this blog to be a place where I can upload and add useful information from my profession. If you are a sports therapist, physiotherapist, doctor, athlete or person who is injured or suffers with pain, you are all welcome here. I hope that you will find this blog useful and interesting.
I will try to post on my blog regularly so you will have a chance to read about common problems, causes of pain and injuries.
Enjoy the read :)
Let’s start this blog with the most common question I get from my clients.
What is sports therapy and what to expect from the first visit?
Sports therapy is very similar to physiotherapy. Important check before your visit to a sports therapist is to make sure that your sports therapist has graduated from a sports therapy degree and is therefore a member of the professional body. This will help you recognise that your sports therapist is professional with deep knowledge about human body, anatomy, injuries and healing processes and who has an experience of working with athletes as well as non-athletes with various injuries and pains.
A common misconception is that sports therapy is only for athletes and sporty people. This is however far from the truth. Sports therapy is focusing on treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and pains. Those are injuries of muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, fascia and nerves. It does not matter if you got injured while you were running or if you injured yourself while carrying a box with Christmas decorations. Injuries are injuries and we don’t differentiate between sports and generic injuries.
So what is the difference between sports therapy and physiotherapy?
It is simple. They are very similar. Both sports and physiotherapy are using assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. The difference is that physiotherapists are spending majority of the session on rehabilitation exercises and shorter time on manual treatment whereas sports therapy is spending majority of the time on manual treatment to assure that postural imbalances are addressed as well as tailoring you to a correct rehabilitation programme.
I like to compare those two to yoga and pilates. Yoga and pilates are very similar. They are both strengthening and lengthening muscles. However yoga is focusing more on lengthening through applying stretches to different muscle groups whereas pilates is focusing more on strengthening. The choice is yours and it depends on what you prefer.
So what to expect when you visit a sports therapist?
When you visit a good graduate sports therapist, you should not be surprised when he or she starts asking various questions related to your movement patterns, but also questions which are not directly related to your pain. But your pain will be discussed a lot too. And in detail. What hurts, how does it hurt, what makes it better, what makes it worse, have you had a similar pain in the past? So we will be discussing your pain a lot.
But apart from that we will be discussing your medications, your overall health and medical history, past injuries and surgeries, what is your job, the stress level of your job and many more.
That’s why you should not be surprised when we ask if you have any issues with the digestive system. Why do we ask? Because some of the joint pains can be caused by problems with the digestive system. You don’t believe me? Well, some autoimmune inflammations of the digestive tract (celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, etc.) don’t have to directly cause issues with the digestive system but it can show as an issue with joints. And this is causing pain which is so called ‘invisible’, because we can’t detect this issue on X-Ray as a joint damage. Because the cause of the pain is not the damaged joint but digestive tract which is causing inflammation in your cartilage. On the other side not everybody who has joint pain has something with their digestive tract. This is only one of the possibilities and the reason why we are asking so many questions during your initial visit.
As you can see, the diagnosis is often very complicated. That's why it is important for you to choose a professional with experience.
What is kinesiology assessment?
Kinesiology assessment is a complete postural assessment which we often call ‘from head to toe’ or from pelvis to head and then to the toe :)
Assessment is always in minimal clothes. Sports shorts or appropriate underwear and a sports bra (for ladies) are ideal.
Postural Assessment usually starts with assessment of the back, then side and lastly the front.
When I do postural assessment of the back I am assessing your stand, placement of your feet and position of the pelvis and spine. I will ask you to bend forward (as far you can) to assess the alignment of your spine and flexibility of the muscles. I will assess the placement of the shoulders and cervical spine. Then, I will assess the posture from the side view and lastly the front view. Here I will assess placement of your feet, height and rotation of the knees, test the mobility of the patella, look at the belly button, ribs, alignment of the clavicle and placement of the shoulders.
Then I will assess the range of the movement of your feet to assess the mobility of your ankles.
Then you will be asked to lie on the treatment couch. We will assess the movement of your hips, patella. Apply a few functional tests and palpate.
Then we will continue when you lie facing down to assess the Achilles tendon, the movement in your hips while lying on your tummy.
Lastly, I will assess you in a sitting position where we assess core strength and range of movement in your shoulders as well as flexibility of your cervical and thoracic spine.
This is an initial assessment and it usually takes around 20-30 minutes after which we move to specific treatment to target the main issues or tissues which are the cause of the issue before we move to rehabilitation exercises which will help you to get your body to alignment and as we call it ‘back on track’ :)
But every sports therapist and physiotherapist is different and is assessing clients differently. This is the way I am assessing my clients, but each assessment is depending on my client’s needs and also varies from client to client.
So you have hopefully an idea what sports therapy is and what to expect from your first visit.
See you next time :)