One of the things most feared by sportspeople is suffering an injury or a pain that interrupts their training or reduces their performance. However, many of these fears can be appeased with some information about the wide range of treatments that we currently have within our reach.

Like technology, physiotherapy is advancing in leaps and bounds and each day we have more resources with which to treat a greater number of the injuries and/or pains suffered by athletes and sportspeople. Here are 5 of the most common techniques used in sports physiotherapy:  

1) Manual Therapy

This is the most commonly used type of therapy within the field of physiotherapy. It is carried out using only the therapist’s hands. Therefore, it can provide a variety of different techniques: massage, passive manipulation, muscle stretching, traction, high velocity joint techniques, mobilization of the nervous system…

Manual therapy techniques have the principal objective of restoring movement when the joints are restricted, to ease joint pain, relax the muscular load and improve the patient’s function. 

2) Dry needling

Dry needling is an invasive physiotherapy technique that consists of using needles, like those used in acupuncture, on the contracted muscle knots (trigger points).  It can be used for cases of muscular pain, contractions, strains, muscular fatigue, pain radiating from trigger points or knots…

With this puncture, the muscle fibers relax and unblock as a reflex action, the muscle regenerates itself more quickly and the pain is immediately relieved by a factor of 20-25%.

3) Echo guided EPTE

EPTE or Percutaneous Electrolysis Therapy is the star treatment for tendinopathies, with an effectiveness of 85% according to the latest studies. This is a very high success rate and it is a great tool for physiotherapists, and it is also currently used for muscle tears, muscular pain and ligament problems.  

The technique is carried out with dry puncture needles and is always guided by an echo graph in order to only create the effect in the area of inflamed tissue.  A galvanic electrical current is applied through the needle which generates an intense heat in the tissue and activates the regenerative and curative process within the tissue.  

4) Tecartherapy

We can use tecartherapy to increase natural regeneration of tissue and to provide anti-inflammatory treatment, as it allows the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries from inside the body.  

This is a radio frequency technique which combines manual therapy with deep diathermy.  What is deep diathermy? It consists of heat penetration into the tissue at a depth of 8 – 15 cm which naturally activates the biological regenerative process.  

In this way, we achieve an increased blood flow (which causes an immediate reduction of pain), reduced muscular tension, a reduction of swelling and, if that wasn’t enough, it also has a specific effect on the creation of collagen and elastin, substantially improving the quality of muscle and tendon tissue.

5) Diacutaneous fibrolysis (hooks)

Diacutaneous fibrolysis is the treatment method for musculoskeletal pains through the use of metal hooks applied to the skin (without perforating it, don’t panic!). Its principal objective is to break down the adhesions and fibrosis that limit movement. 

Other benefits of hooks are: 

  1. Circulatory and lymphatic action. Promotes the release of histamine; it is of interest to sportspeople as it eliminates lactic acid. 
  2. Regulates muscle tone.
  3. Works on post-surgery adhesions and post-traumatic scars.

Text by Gerard Berenguer Villarreal, Physiotherapist and Osteopath DO founder of FisioCross.

Photos by Alex Cruces.

Clothing by Reebok.

Athletes: CarlaAniol.