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What Does a Sports Therapist Do?

A sports therapist is a healthcare professional who helps people recover from injuries and improve their overall fitness.

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Job Description

A sports therapist is a type of physical therapist who specializes in the prevention and treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise. Sports therapists work with athletes of all ages and levels of ability, from professional to recreational. They may work in a variety of settings, including clinics, hospitals, private practices, and sporting facilities.

What sports therapists do

Sports therapists are allied health professionals who work with athletes and active people to help them prevent and manage injuries.

Sports therapists use a range of techniques to assess, treat and rehabilitate athletes. They work with people of all ages and abilities, from amateur sportspeople to elite performers.

The main aim of sports therapy is to help athletes return to their sport or activity as soon as possible, and to prevent any further injuries from occurring.

Sports therapists use a variety of techniques, including:
-massage
-taping
-exercise prescription
-electrotherapy modalities
-physical conditioning
-nutritional advice.

Work environment

Sports therapists work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, private practices, and sports facilities. Many therapists travel to patients’ homes or workplaces.

Salary

Sports therapists work with athletes of all levels to prevent and treat injuries, help them recover from training and competition, and improve their performance. They may work with team physicians, coaches, and other members of the athletic staff to develop comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation plans.

Sports therapists typically have a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine or a related field, and many have master’s degrees or doctorates. There are several professional organizations for sports therapists that offer certification programs.

The median annual salary for sports therapists was $47,860 in May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reported that the top 10% of earners in this occupation made more than $80,330 per year, while the bottom 10% earned less than $28,710 per year.

Qualifications

Becoming a sports therapist requires you to have a relevant degree in sports therapy, physiotherapy, or rehabilitation. You will also need to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). In order to practise, you will need to have liability insurance.

Education

To practice as a sports therapist, you will need to complete an accredited degree or postgraduate qualification in sports therapy. These courses are typically three years full time (or the equivalent part time), and cover both the academic and practical aspects of sports therapy.

Certification

In order to practice, sports therapists must be certified by an accredited institution. The most common certifying bodies are the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification (NATABOC) and the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). These organizations certify athletic trainers and ensure that they meet the standards set forth by their respective boards.

After completing a certified athletic training program and passing the required exams, sports therapists are eligible to apply for state licensure, if required. Some states require licensure in order to practice, while others do not. Once licensed, sports therapists are able to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, sports medicine clinics, colleges and universities, professional and amateur sports teams, and corporate wellness programs.

What to Expect

Sports therapists are highly trained professionals who help people of all ages and abilities to recover from injury, manage pain, and improve their overall physical wellbeing. They use a combination of techniques, including massage, stretching, and exercises, to treat their patients. Sports therapists also work with athletes to prevent injuries and improve their performance.

Job outlook

The job outlook for sports therapists is very good. The demand for these professionals is expected to grow at a rate of 21% through 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.1 This growth can be attributed to the increasing popularity of sports and exercise, as well as the aging baby boomer population.2

As the population continues to age, there will be an increased need for sports therapists who can help people recover from injuries and manage chronic conditions.1 In addition, the number of people participating in sports and exercise is expected to rise, which will also lead to a greater need for sports therapists.2

Career path

The average salary for a Sports Therapist with 3-5 years of experience is $49,000. The average salary for a Sports Therapist with 6-8 years of experience is $57,000. The average salary for a Sports Therapist with 9-11 years of experience is $63,000.

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