All osteopaths diagnose, treat, manage and seek to prevent muscle, joint, tendon and nerve injuries occurring in sporting activities.
Osteopaths may work with players with an injury or without an injury, with competitive/elite sports people and patients who play recreationally. They can work in sporting clubs, athletic arenas and private practice.
An osteopath can assess sporting injury risks and injury impacts, as well as give advice on movement for sporting performance.
An osteopath might review how the body moves and physical skills against demands in a sport. Physical skills are things like muscle strength or muscle length, force, speed/agility, balance and flexibility.
An osteopath might also examine imbalances or weaknesses in the body that could put a player at risk of injury during sporting activity or when performing certain movements.
After a sports injury, an osteopath might use clinical tests of the nerves, joints and movement to assess level of the injury and how it could impact sporting abilities.
Many osteopaths develop sporting rehabilitation and performance plans.
In addition to manual therapies, an osteopath may use taping, bracing, splinting and other approaches when managing an injury.
For players with or without injury, an osteopath might create a program of specific exercises and strategies aimed at improving performance in a sport or role within a sport.
Elite sports people should check that an osteopath understands their sport.
Osteopaths are part of a network of health professionals. They give referrals to and work with sports physicians, general practitioners, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists and other health professionals.
All osteopaths work with people who play sport for leisure or competitively. Some osteopaths have advanced clinical skills in sports injury management and performance skill enhancement in a specific sport. Learn more about Advanced Practice Recognition and find an Advanced Sports Osteopath.