Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the difference between Sports Therapists and Physiotherapists?
A: Sports Therapists have and apply skills and treatment modalities often used in “physiotherapy”. The difference lies in the definition whereby physiotherapy is, “the treatment of disease, injury or deformity by physical methods including massage, heat treatment, electricity and exercise, rather than drugs or surgery”
Therefore, Sports Therapists will apply many of the same skills and modalities that are included within this list but from a sport and exercise perspective rather than a traditional healthcare context.
Q. Is Sports Therapy just about Sports Massage?
A: No. Sports therapists commonly apply massage techniques alongside other treatment modalities as a well-rounded treatment approach. However, the massage skills a Sports Therapists possess form an integral part of their scope of practice.
Q: What are the benefits of regular Sports Massage? And how often should I have Sports Massage? Can I have sports massage if I am not sporty?
A: Don’t be fooled by the name and think that only elite athletes can have this type of massage. Anyone who has niggling aches and pains can benefit from having a deep tissue massage.
Deep tissue massage or sports massage aims elevate muscular tension and chronic knots (also known as adhesions), which have built up over time due to previous injuries. When you suffer from chronic pain, such as upper back or neck stiffness, it is often caused due to a build-up of tightness in the muscle caused by adhesions and scar tissue. These can block the circulatory system which causes inflammation, due to the lack of oxygen and nutrients being delivered to the muscles and therefore toxins start to build up within the muscle tissue. And this is one of the reasons why you get muscle aches and pains.
Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions within the tissue, which will relieve the pain and in turn restore normative ranges of motion. There are many benefits to this type of massage such as increasing blood flow, decreasing chronic pain, relieve chronic muscle tightness, muscular tension, sciatic type symptoms, limited mobility and so much more.
Q: Why is Stretching so important? and when is it best to do?
A: The American College Of Sports Medicine recommends the following:
Stretches have been found to be most effective when performed at least two or three days each week. Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds to the point of tightness or slight discomfort. Repeat each stretch two to four times, accumulating 60 seconds per stretch. There are several different types of stretches you can use, the most common being Dynamic (continuous movement) and Static (reaching and holding). Others include, ballistic and PNF stretches which have all been found to be effective. Flexibility exercise is most effective when the muscle is warm. Try light aerobic activity or a hot bath to warm the muscles before stretching.
The proposed benefits of stretching include:
- Improve your range of motion
- Improving performance in athletic activity
- Decreasing the risk of injury
- Increasing blood flow to the muscles
Q: Other than sports massage, what other treatments do you offer? and are all the staff qualified for all treatments you offer?
A: We offer a wide range of treatments (which all our staff are qualified to offer) including:
Electrotherapy – Ultrasound, TENS, Electromyography
Peripheral and Spinal Mobilisations
As all of our staff undertake professional development and the following treatments are also offered:
Myofascial release (Pippa, Stephen, Ruth and Lucy)
Prenatal massage (Ruth and Lyndsey)
Cupping Therapy (Lucy)
Spinal Manipulation (Gok and Pippa)
Please note, apart from prenatal massage you cannot specifically book for the above treatments. Staff will perform the techniques if they feel they will benefit your recovery and that you meet any specific the criteria to receive the intervention. This will be explained to you in more detail by the member of staff upon your visit.
Q. Do I need to be referred from my Doctor or can I self -refer?
A: You can self-refer and we will always contact with other health care professionals where necessary.
Q. What qualifications will my Therapist have?
A. All Sports Therapists at Teesside Sports Injury Centre have a BSc (Hons) Degree in Sport Therapy and are registered with the Society of Sport Therapists or Federation of Holistic Therapists. Some of our staff have also completed postgraduate studies (MSc) in strength and conditioning, sports therapy. Gok Kandasamy is our clinics only HPC registered physiotherapist (BSc Hons) with additional degrees in MSc Sports Physiotherapy, MSc Sports Biomechanics and is currently working towards his PhD. For further detailed information visit Meet the team»
Q. Can I use private medical insurance to pay for my treatment?
A. We can provide you with receipts for any treatment or assessment you have with us. However, it is important that you check your insurance policy to ensure it covers treatment by a Sport Therapist.
Q. How long are the appointments?
A. For your first visit and new injuries we recommend booking a 60 minute appointment. Follow-up appointments tend to be 30 minutes. However, depending on the location and nature of your injury your therapist may recommend 60 min. All follow-up appointments will be discussed and explained to you by your therapist.
Q. How many treatments will I need?
A. The treatment plans we produce are custom-made to the individual. Depending on the problem, you may only require one session for treatment and advice on how to self-manage. Occasionally you may require a longer period of ongoing treatment dependent on the condition. There is no obligation to agree to a long course of treatment. Your Sport Therapist will discuss your treatment plan at your initial appointment.
Q. Do I need to bring anything?
A. You do not need to bring anything specific but a pair of shorts may be useful if you have a lower limb problem. We may need to assess the spine so a vest and loose, comfortable clothing is advised.
Q. What will happen at my appointment?
A. At the start of the appointment the Sport Therapist will ask you questions relating to the history of your condition, any medical conditions and any medications you may be taking. Questions regarding your lifestyle and daily activities will be asked as these can have a large influence on the cause of your symptoms and how you recover.
The second part of assessment will be a thorough physical examination of the appropriate area to locate the problem. Your therapist will then discuss the appropriate treatment options for you and agreed treatment will commence.
Q. Can I bring someone with me?
A. You can be accompanied by a friend or member of your family if you wish. Please note any under 16’s must be accompanied with a Parent/ Guardian.