Physical therapy is a key piece of sports medicine — and there’s more to it than you might think. We talked to Seth Blee, PT, DPT, CFMT, CSCS, a physical therapist at the Inova Physical Therapy Center and team physical therapist for the Washington Nationals, to get the scoop.

Sports physical therapists work in 3 main areas:

  1. Post-op: Providing physical rehab after orthopedic surgery
  2. Treatment: Treating sports injuries that don’t require surgery
  3. Prevention: Diagnosing problems with form and mechanics that might lead to future injuries

To do all that, they focus on several key issues for each patient:

  • Mobility. Are the joints, muscles and other soft tissues moving well?
  • Strength and Control. Do athletes initiate a movement with the right muscles? Do they have the strength, endurance and control to use those muscles properly?
  • Body Mechanics. Does the athlete have good body mechanics? Does she bend, lift, push and otherwise move correctly for her sport?

Sports Physical Therapy: A Big-Picture View

Physical therapists are experts at seeing each patient as a whole. If you come in with a shoulder injury, a physical therapist will look at your shoulder — and they’ll also assess what’s happening with your trunk, your hips or other body parts and muscle groups that might contribute to the shoulder issue, Blee explained. “Physical therapy looks at the big picture.”

Find your nearest Inova Physical Therapy Center, or call 877-604-6682 for an appointment.

Inova Physical Therapy is the official physical therapy partner of the Washington Nationals and the Washington Redskins.

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