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There are several similar professions within our industry, so it’s no surprise that get people confused as to who they are meant to see! Here we’re going to discuss what a sports therapist does and how they can help you in your injury recovery. We’ll also look into what the other similar professions are and what they do. 
 
Sports therapists and the health care professionals with closely related skill set. 
 
Physiotherapist: A physio has a very similar skill set to a sports therapist. The main difference is that they also have the skills of dealing with cardiovascular (heart attacks) and neuromuscular (stroke) rehabilitation. Due to the more extensive repertoire, and the fact they are registered with the health professional council they tend to get more doctors’ referrals to them. 
 
Sports massage therapist: A sports massage therapist tends to focus solely on massage during the session. They might then give some aftercare recommendations of some stretching exercises. Massage therapists see a wide variety of clients. They see a vast number of people who are dealing with desk posture issues and have pain in their upper neck and back, and they also see a vast amount of people who just have general tightness and want it working out. 
 
Sports therapist: A sports therapist’s skill set is mainly around the Musculoskeletal system, which is anything to do with the muscle, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. The aim for a sports therapist is to try and return their client back to their full potential, whether that’s general day-to-day life or in sport. This can be through a combination of massage and rehabilitation. A sports therapist is trained to assess diagnose and rehabilitate most injuries. A sports therapist and a sports massage therapist work very closely in conjunction with one another. As part of an injury recovery program a sports therapist should perform an in-depth assessment of the injury, then produce a treatment plan, whether this is with massage involved or just exercises. 
 
The good thing about sports therapy and sports massage is that it’s becoming a much more of a recognised therapy for treating injuries. This means that therapists tend to be one of the first ports of call for many people, which means that they can be assessed and hopefully treated in a quicker time period. 
 
Sports therapists also look at pre-habilitation. This is when they design a treatment plan to help the prevention of an injury. This tends to include strength exercises as well as stretching and massage. At Fire & Earth our therapists tend to use massage as the main therapeutic modality during treatments. This is then supplemented by the use of the stretches and strengthening exercises. 
 
Both massage therapists and sports therapists tend to see clients on a regular basis. This is so once the injury has been helped, they can then go on what’s called a maintenance regime. This is where clients come in for regular massages and their aftercare exercises are then also looked at and revised where needed. This allows for both the therapist and the client to assess and monitor frequently, and keep the client on the road to an injury-free life. 
 
As you’ll now recognise, there’s a need for all three of these of these specialities; you just have to know which one is right for you. 
 
If you have an injury, then a sports therapist is a great option to help you out as they can incorporate both massage and rehab into a treatment program. If you’re looking to help with tightness in your muscles, then a massage therapist is a good option. If you have a more severe injury, for instance a medical condition, or have had to go to hospital for something like an operation, then it would be a good idea to see a physio. 
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