A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SPORTS & REHABILITATION THERAPIST – IPTAS

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SPORTS & REHABILITATION THERAPIST

Joe’s treatment room is a dedicated space in a gym or (running) retail outlet or sports clubhouse. In addition to hands on treatment, Joe also carries out Functional Movement Screening for athletes and recently purchased a GAIT analysis machine which he uses to analyse their biomechanics. Prior to this he used a simple system by taking video footage with an iPad and uploading it to a free software app that enabled slow motion replay. The new machine is much more accurate. He prescribes orthotics for athletes whose foot mechanics need support.

Joe gets referrals from the local running store (and refers his patients and athlete friends to the store for footwear). He also gets referrals from the coach of a local triathlon club, also a patient of his. His connection with this coach has opened up avenues for treating cyclists and swimmers too. Joe leverages his network of contacts within the running fraternity (as he is a keen runner and running club member himself). Joe frequently runs information evenings (in a variety of locations) dealing with injury prevention & recovery and touching on areas such as hydration, nutrition and the psychology of post sport-injury and recovery. Some of these are paid and some unpaid.

Joe attends training sessions for his running club which involves Tuesday (adults) & Thursday (juveniles) evenings from 6pm to 8:30pm. He sometimes supervises the warmups when the coach is late and discusses injury niggles or concerns with individual athletes. He is available after training to support athletes who have picked up an injury or those returning to training following injury. The main function here is to provide a level of expertise and advice and to encourage these athletes to make appointments with him at his clinic. No treatment takes place at the training sessions but he does leverage his first aid skills if/when someone picks up an acute injury. Occasionally, he is asked to strap/tape joints for support ahead of training or competition. He has essentially created a role for himself as the resident injury and injury prevention expert. This club involvement is unpaid but Joe counts it as marketing for his business. Joe has recently engaged with a newly qualified Sports Therapist who has agreed to provide post event sports massage (at the training site) for athletes after training. This is on the understanding that all injuries are referred to Joe.

What Joe needed to establish his practice

  • A recognised qualification and insurance (the qualification gave Joe the knowledge and confidence to assess, diagnose and treat a broad range of sports injuries)
  • An interest in the field
  • A target market (business needs customers)
  • Suitable premises at a competitive rate

What Joe needs to maintain his practice:

  • Maintain his own health
  • CPD to keep abreast of developments and maintain membership of his professional association
  • Up to date insurance
  • Good record keeping
  • Expand operations beyond his own club (networking skills)

What Joe needs to develop his practice:

  • Additional qualifications if he wishes to specialise further - e.g. athletics coaching, pilates instructor, strength & conditioning coach, podiatry
  • Expand into new markets e.g. other running and non-running clubs, schools
  • Deliver talks that will boost his profile and generate new patients
  • Become adept at social media marketing and maintain a social media presence
  • Networking with GP’s who may prescribe exercise for patients (to be supervised by Joe)