Chartered physiotherapists use their skills in treating injured athletes from the management of acute and ongoing injuries (rehabilitation), to the assessment and planning of an overall programme to prevent injury (prehabilitation). For optimal effect a physiotherapist does not work in isolation but relies on the expertise of the coach, the strength and conditioning coach and the sports medicine doctor. Through teamwork, an agreement is reached on the short, medium and ultimate long-term goals of the athlete and what support package is required to attain those goals.
The other facet of physiotherapy outside of performance optimization and injury prevention is injury management. Having a multi-disciplinary team under one roof allows for a prompt integrated response to injury management if required.
Sport Ireland Institute uses a network of chartered physiotherapists with vast experience in working with high performance athletes and sports. Currently Sport Ireland Institute are working with National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs) in developing networks of sports specific physiotherapists to work with high performance athletes. In most sports a High Performance Lead Physiotherapist will be appointed to coordinate physiotherapy services in that sport. This will ensure that the highest quality of physiotherapy care is given to all athletes.