Sports Physiotherapist Careers

How to become Sports Physiotherapist

What does a Sports Physiotherapist do?

Sports physiotherapists help sportsmen and sportswomen operate at peak performance and give them advice on prevention and recovery from injuries. They work in a team with coaches, other health care professionals and sports scientists.

Physiotherapists working in sport use a range of treatments including manipulation, massage, taping, first aid, heat treatment, therapeutic exercise, electrotherapy, ultrasound, acupuncture and hydrotherapy. In addition to treating patients, physiotherapists must keep accurate records of patient treatment and progress.

As well as working with top-level performers, many sports physiotherapists work with amateur sportsmen and sportswomen and people who take part in sport as a leisure activity.

Sports physiotherapists may specialise in a particular sport, or alternatively in a particular aspect of physiotherapy, such as rehabilitation.

What's the working environment like working as a Sports Physiotherapist?

Most sports physiotherapists work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends. They have to be prepared to work up to 16 hours a day when on tour with a team as they are usually working single-handed. They may have to attend training sessions and competitions or fixtures, which could include travelling in the UK or possibly abroad.

Treatment may be carried out in special treatment rooms or sports injury clinics, exercise areas, swimming or hydrotherapy pools, sports centres or even at the side of the pitch at sporting venues.

What does it take to become a Sports Physiotherapist?

To be a sports physiotherapist, you should:

  • have an interest and ability in health science and sport
  • be concerned for the health and wellbeing of patients
  • have excellent communication skills
  • work well as part of a team
  • have good interpersonal skills
  • be patient and sensitive, show tolerance when dealing with patients
  • have good organisational and administrative skills.

Sports Physiotherapist Career Opportunities

Physiotherapists in sport may work in private practice, in health and fitness clubs and leisure centres. Some also work for sport associations or clubs.

There is an increasing interest in sport in the UK, which is leading to more opportunities for working in sports physiotherapy. There are also opportunities to work abroad.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Sports Physiotherapist that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
14 Bedford Row
Tel: 020 7306 6666

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine

The Sports Council for Northern Ireland
House of Sport
Upper Malone Road
Tel: 028 9038 1222

Castlewood House
77-91 New Oxford Street
Advice line: 08000 933300

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