Sports Injuries

Sport is a vital part of the Australian lifestyle. It provides exercise, social contact, relaxation, competition and promotes good health. It may also cause injuries, many of which can be prevented.

Most sports injuries can be effectively treated by your physiotherapist, enabling you to return to your sporting activities as soon as possible.

Common Injuries

bullet bruises
bullet ligament sprains & tears
bullet muscle & tendon strains
bullet joint injuries
bullet overuse injuries
bullet stress fractures
What Goes Wrong

Most sports injuries are a result of direct blow (bruise or contusion) or indirect dynamic force (sprains, strains, tears). An increasing number of injuries are due to overuse stresses (foot, knee, hip and shoulder injuries).


Stretching Exercises How You Can Prevent It
bullet correct warm-up and warm-down exercises
bullet proper stretching exercises for flexibility
bullet protective strapping in some cases
bullet correct footwear
bullet specific conditioning for a particular sport
bullet good general and aerobic fitness
If You Have An Injury

Seek immediate assessment and treatment. For sprains, strains and bruises, start the R.I.C.E. program:

Rest (injured tissues must have a period of rest to heal)
Ice (10 mins frequently is better than one long application)
Compression (moderately from bandage to control swelling)
Elevation (elevate the injured part to help drainage)

AVOID Any of the H.A.R.M. Factors:

Heat increases bleeding
Alcohol increases swelling
Running or exercising too soon makes an injury worse
Massage in the first 24 hours increases swelling and bleeding

Don't presume an ice pack and strapping will do the trick - especially if you then stand around drinking while "re-living your glories". Rest, compression and elevation are most important.

Other Tips

bullet avoid heat stress - maintain fluid intake
bullet don't overdo it at the start of the season
bullet don't try to play on with pain
Getting Back in the Game

Before you can safely return to sport, not only will the injury need to be completely healed, but it is essential to regain strength, mobility, balance and coordination.

How Physiotherapy Can Help

Physiotherapists are highly qualified and trained in the assessment and treatment of soft tissue injuries. They see a large number of sports injuries. With a comprehensive knowledge of biomechanics, tissue pathology and healing, experienced physiotherapists are appointed to many sports teams to program the fitness of the team and to monitor the rehabilitation of injured players.

More Information

Brochures and posters on stretching and strengthening exercises are available from your local branch of the Australian Physiotherapy Association.


Physiotherapists in private practice are listed in the Yellow Pages. Each Branch of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) publishes a register of its members in private practice. Check for the initials M.A.P.A. after the physiotherapist's name. Members of the APA are bound by a professional Code of Ethics and have access to extensive postgraduate education programmes.

Health Rebates

A doctor's referral is not required to see a physiotherapist. Appointments may be made direct. Treatment costs are rebatable under all higher table health insurance schemes.
APA Top of page

Move well. Stay well.
By courtesy of the Australian Physiotherapy Association