Sports Related Injuries and Rehabilitation

Whether you are a weekend warrior or a serious athlete, sports injuries can be difficult to avoid. Whether you twisted your ankle during a soccer game or woke up with an aching back after a day of golfing, sitting on the sideline is never fun. Minor injuries can usually be treated at home with P.R.I.C.E (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), but more severe injuries (i.e. ACL tear, meniscus tear, sprained ankle, etc.) may call for medical attention. Physical therapy is often a critical part of accurately assessing, diagnosing, and rehabilitating an injury.

Common Sports Injuries

Whether the injury occurred immediately upon force, or accumulated over time, sports can result in trauma to the muscles, joints and ligaments of the body.

The sports-related injuries we frequently treat include:

  • Repetitive overuse injuries
    • Tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis (tennis/golfer’s elbow), osgood-schlatter disease, patellofemoral syndrome (runner’s knee), shin splints, stress fractures, and many more.
    • These injuries often stem from repetitive trauma over time. Activities such as swinging a racket, gripping a golf club, or throwing a ball can lead to a repetitive overuse injury. The vulnerable areas in the joints and muscles (neck, shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees, and ankles) may become inflamed and irritated, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Torn tendons and ligaments
    • Dramatic jumps, twists, collisions and stretches can result in micro or macro tears in the muscles, tendons and/or ligaments. Tendons link muscles to the bones and ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to bones at joints. Symptoms of a torn tendon include but are not limited to a snap or pop you hear or feel, rapid bruising, inability to move the affected area, and/or inability to bear weight.
  • Strained muscles
    • Sometimes repetitive twisting, lifting and/or throwing can cause muscles to strain. Because our physical therapists are specialists in musculoskeletal anatomy, they will examine the problem area and create a plan of care, utilizing manual (hands-on) therapy techniques specific to strengthening, mobility, stretching and endurance performance training, to get you back to your sport. You may have strained a muscle if you are experiencing swelling, bruising and/or redness, pain while resting the muscle, weakness to the muscle, and/or inability to use the muscle at all.
  • Fractures, separations and dislocations
    • When you have a bone injury during a game, practice, or workout, a trip to the emergency room to get a X-ray and an examination usually results in the immobilization of the area (sling, brace, cast, etc.). Symptoms of fractures, separations and dislocations vary based on the location of the injury, but intense pain, weakness, swelling, limited mobility, inability to bear weight, and/or a visible deformity are signs to look out for.

Once your physician refers you to physical therapy or you decide to start your road to recovery, you can start to move, stretch and strengthen the affected area under the watchful eye of one of our physical therapists. To ensure that you are brought back to health, one of our physical therapists will create a detailed home exercise program for you.

Post Operative Physical Therapy

Consulting an orthopedic surgeon and getting correct imaging (i.e. MRI, X-ray, etc.) is often the first step after a sports related injury. An MRI and/or X-ray will determine if you need conservative care like physical therapy or surgery.  If surgery is needed, then physical therapy is often the post operative prescription because physical therapy will provide you with a detailed rehabilitation program to restrengthen your muscles and prevent re-injury. Similarly, if your injury requires a cast or some form of bracing, then our team will assist you in rebounding from the diminished strength and range of motion that occurs when a limb is out of commission. As your bone or joint recovers in a sling or cast, the muscles around it begin to weaken and tighten, which is why physical therapy is often included in the healing process. Physical therapy will give you the tools, knowledge, and exercises needed to strengthen your muscles.

Prevention is Key

Athletes know that the best way to avoid injury or re-injury is to be aware of how their body is aligned, build their strength, work on their endurance and maintain good flexibility. The best time to start injury preventative care is right now. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Our dedicated team of physical therapists are trained in preventative and rehabilitative sport injury care.

If you are currently working out at the gym, then that is a great way to prevent an injury. However, you may need to adjust your movement patterns. Our physical therapists will provide you with strengthening exercises that you can continue to do in the gym to prevent injury. Additionally, our physical therapists will guide you and talk you through strategies that you can implement while on the field. To further prevent injury, we will communicate with your coaches to help keep you healthy, strong, and injury free.


Getting injured while playing a sport that you love can be heartbreaking. Don’t let an injury stop you from playing the sport that you love. Call us today at our Greenfield or New Berlin location to schedule an appointment and get back in the game!