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Occupation Details

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Sports Therapist

Job Zone

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At a Glance... header image

Sports therapists help sports people and athletes to prepare physically and mentally for competition.


The Work header image

Sports therapists give advice on preventing injury. They also examine and treat injuries and rehabilitate people back to fitness both for sport and everyday life, including work.

Sports therapists are specialists in the musculoskeletal system, being able to diagnose and treat a range of conditions, including strains, sprains, tennis elbow and frozen shoulder.

Sports therapy isn't just about working with injured sports professionals. Therapists can help people of any age or ability. Patients might not be involved in sport - the therapy can help anyone who's involved in physical activity. For example, non-sports people might see a sports therapist for relief from muscular pain caused by injury, poor posture or repetitive strain.

When they first meet a patient, therapists examine and observe them to assess the problem. This could involve watching how the patient walks (their gait), testing joints for range of movement, and feeling for tightness in muscle fibres. Therapists use their knowledge of sports and exercise science, including biomechanics, physiology and pathology. Having observed the patient, they put together a programme to treat their specific problem, taking into account which sport the person is involved in. This could involve training them in exercises to increase strength, flexibility or stamina, or teaching ways to reduce the risk of injury. In some cases, they will refer the patient to a medical specialist.

Rehabilitation could involve:

  • using massage to correct muscular imbalance
  • exercises to strengthen muscles and joints
  • helping the patient to stretch
  • electrotherapy
  • manual therapy
  • therapeutic ultrasound.

Therapists don't just deal with physical things to do with the body; they also help people deal with the emotional effects of sports injuries. Therapists help people to prepare for sports training and competition. They give advice on how to train to improve performance and avoid injury.

For example, massage before events helps to avoid tight muscles and hamstrings. In running, tight hamstrings reduce stride length, meaning that the runner has to put in more effort. In swimming, tight muscles restrict flexibility and lead to less efficient strokes.

Before a sports event, this can involve giving advice on things like:

  • mental preparation
  • massage
  • strapping and taping to prevent injury and provide support
  • stretching, warming up and cooling down.

Sports therapists are trained to give first aid during events. They examine injuries and give their opinion on whether the sportsperson can continue. Afterwards, they examine injuries and deal with problems such as cuts, bruises and blisters.

For more serious injuries, they decide whether to refer the sportsperson for emergency treatment or to a healthcare specialist at a later date. Sports therapists might combine therapy with other sports-related work, for example, as a personal trainer or fitness instructor. Some therapists are qualified to give advice on diet and nutrition for sport.

 


Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be a sports therapist, you'll need:

  • good communication skills, including the ability to listen
  • hand skills for giving massage and using equipment such as therapeutic ultrasound
  • empathy and the ability to help people deal with the emotional effects of injury
  • the ability to keep accurate records
  • problem-solving skills
  • good judgement, to decide when to refer a patient to a medical specialist.

Many sports therapists are self-employed and so need the skills to run their own business.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Sports therapist - from:  GradIreland
Go..Sports Therapist - from:  iCould [UK] Video

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Irish Sports Council
  Address: Top Floor, Block A, Westend Office Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15
  Tel: (01) 8608800
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Leisure, Sport & Fitness

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database

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Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 49
Athletic and Rehabilitation Therapy
Athlone IT
Athletic Therapy and Training
DCU
Business (Sport and Recreation)
Athlone IT
Business Studies with Sports Management
Limerick IT
Business with Sports Management
Limerick IT
Gym Instructor & Personal Trainer
Portobello Institute
Health and Leisure
Tralee IT
Health and Leisure Studies
Tralee IT
Health and Leisure with Massage
Tralee IT
Health and Leisure with Massage
Tralee IT
Hospitality and Tourism (at Killybegs)
Letterkenny IT
Outdoor Education (Castlebar)
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Outdoor Education and Leisure (Castlebar)
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Physical Activity and Health
Athlone IT
Physical Education with Biology
DCU
Physical Education with concurrent Teacher Education
University of Limerick
Physical Education with Mathematics
DCU
Physiotherapy
UCD (NUI)
Psychology
DCU
Recreation and Leisure (incl Business Skills)
IT Sligo
Recreation and Leisure Management
Cork Institute of Technology
Recreation and Sports Management
Waterford IT
Sport and Exercise (GAA)
IT Carlow
Sport and Exercise (Soccer)
IT Carlow
Sport and Exercise - Rugby
IT Carlow
Sport and Exercise Sciences
University of Limerick
Sport Coaching & Performance
Letterkenny IT
Sport Science
IT Carlow
Sport Science and Health
DCU
Sport, Excercise and Enterprise
Dundalk IT
Sports and Exercise Management
UCD (NUI)
Sports Coaching and Performance
Waterford IT
Sports Development and Coaching
Limerick IT
Sports Management
UCD (NUI)
Sports Management and Coaching
IT Blanchardstown
Sports Management and Coaching
IT Blanchardstown
Sports Management and Coaching (GAA, Rugby or Soccer)
IT Carlow
Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic Therapy
IT Carlow
Sports Science & Physical Education
Portobello Institute
Sports Science and Health
IT Tallaght
Sports Science and Health
IT Tallaght
Sports Science with Exercise Physiology
Athlone IT
Sports Strength and Conditioning (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Sports Strength and Conditioning (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Sports Studies
Letterkenny IT
Sports Studies and Physical Education
UCC (NUI)
Sports Therapy
Portobello Institute
Strength & Conditioning
Setanta College
Strength and Conditioning
IT Carlow


Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.

Courses found: 119


Personal Training & Sports Therapies
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
Sports Coaching
Inchicore College of Further Education
Sport & Leisure Management
Monaghan Institute
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Studies
Galway Community College
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Studies - Year 1
Crumlin College of Further Education
Soccer Skills & Coaching
Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
Sport & Recreation
Mercy College Sligo
Sport & Gym Instruction Studies
Bray Institute of Further Education
Tennis Skills & Coaching
Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute
Soccer Coaching and Education
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Leisure & Recreation Management
Inchicore College of Further Education
Sports Injuries & Therapy - 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sport Coaching & Leisure Management
Cavan Institute
Sport & Exercise Science 2
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sports, Exercise & Coaching
Colaiste Chathail Naofa
Leisure Management & Fitness Instructor
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
Leisure & Recreation Studies 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sport & Recreation Coaching Studies
Galway Community College
Sports Therapy - Year 1
Crumlin College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Waterford College of Further Education
Sports, Recreation & Exercise
Kerry College of Further Education
Leisure Management
St. Kevin's College Crumlin
Sport, Recreation & Exercise
Errigal College
Soccer Career & Development (Coaching and Gym)
Pearse College of Further Education
Sports Therapy / Physiotherapy Studies
Cavan Institute
Sport & Recreation
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Health & Fitness - Sports Coaching
Portlaoise College
Sport, Recreation & Exercise
Moate Business College
Sports Coaching & Leisure Facility Management
Greenhills College
Sports & Leisure Management
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Sport and Recreation
Central College Limerick
Personal Trainer & Leisure Management
Bray Institute of Further Education
Sport, Recreation & Exercise
Enniscorthy Vocational College
Sport, Recreation and Exercise
Colaiste Chiarain Croom
Spa Therapies - Advanced
Senior College Dun Laoghaire
Sport & Recreation
Ramsgrange Community School
Sports Coaching
Colaiste Chiarain Croom
Sport, Recreation & Exercise
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Sport & Recreation Management
St. Patrick's Comprehensive School Shannon
Fitness & Health
Waterford College of Further Education
Sport Management & Coaching
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Sports & Recreation
St. Fanahan's College
Sports Therapy - Year 2
Crumlin College of Further Education
Health & Fitness - Leisure Management
Portlaoise College
Sport, Recreation & Exercise
St. Conleth's Community College
Sport & Exercise Science, Health & Fitness Diploma
Inchicore College of Further Education
Sport and Recreation
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Soccer & Gym Instruction
Bray Institute of Further Education
Health Science - Physiology and Sport
Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education
Sport. Health & Fitness Studies
O'Fiaich Institute
Sport & Recreation
St. Joseph's Secondary School Ballybunion
Sport, Recreation & Exercise
St. Louis Community School
Sports and Recreation Studies
North Kerry College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
McEgan College
Exercise & Health Fitness
Ormonde College of Further Education
Sports Injury Treatment
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Sports Development & Coaching - Advanced
Cavan Institute
Sports, Physical Fitness & Massage
Waterford College of Further Education
Sport, Recreation & Exercise
Limerick College of Further Education
Sports Development - Advanced
O'Fiaich Institute
Coach and Physical Education 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sports Performance & Coaching
Galway Technical Institute
Sport, Exercise & Fitness
Muine Bheag Vocational School
Leisure Facility Supervisory Management
Central College Limerick
GAA Coaching Studies
Galway Community College
Sports Development - Advanced
Colaiste Mhuire Thurles
Sport & Recreation
Gairmscoil Mhuire - Athenry Vocational School
Sports, Recreation & Massage Studies
Mallow College of Further Education
Leisure Facility Supervisory Management
Muine Bheag Vocational School
Sport Coaching & Exercise Studies
Monaghan Institute
Sports & Recreational Studies
Columba College
Sports Development & Soccer Coaching
Galway Technical Institute
Complementary Therapies - Including Remedial & Sports Massage
Leisure Management
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Soccer Career & Development - Advanced
Pearse College of Further Education
Sport & Physical Therapy Studies
Monaghan Institute
Sport, Recreation & Exercise
Moyne College
Sports, Recreation & Exercise
St. Louis Community School
Sports Therapy & Injury Management
Waterford College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Banagher College - Colaiste na Sionna
Leisure & Beauty
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Sports & Recreation
Colaiste Mhuire Thurles
Sport & Recreation
Lanesboro Community College
Sport & Recreation
Nenagh College
Sports Therapy - Year 2 (Option B)
Crumlin College of Further Education
Spa & Complimentary Therapies
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Sports Recreation & Exercise
Lough Allen College
Sports Injury Management
Limerick College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Ardscoil Phadraig
Sports, Recreation & Exercise
Colaiste Eoin Hacketstown
Coach and Physical Education 2
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sports & Exercise Performance
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Personal Trainer and Leisure Management
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sports, Recreation and Exercise
Templemore College of Further Education
Resistance Training & Weight Training for Sport
Setanta College
Physical Fitness & Conditioning + ITEC Gym Instruction Certificate
Setanta College
Strength & Conditioning
Setanta College
Physical Fitness & Conditioning for Sport
Setanta College
Gaelic Games & Gym Instruction
Bray Institute of Further Education
Sport, Recreation and Exercise
Colaiste Chiarain Croom
G.A.A. Coaching & Sport Performance
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sports Injuries & Therapy - 2
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Personal Trainer with Deep Tissue Massage
Cork College of Commerce
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Studies - Year 2
Crumlin College of Further Education
Sports Science
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Leisure Facility Supervisory Management
Limerick College of Further Education
Sports, Recreation & Exercise - Advanced
Limerick College of Further Education
Sports Therapy / Physiotherapy Assistant Year 2
Cavan Institute
Tourism, Hotel and Leisure Operations
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
Sport & Leisure Management (Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor)
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Strength Conditioning & Injury Prevention
Galway Technical Institute
Gym and Fitness Instructor / Personal Trainer
Galway Technical Institute
Sports Therapy
Kerry College of Further Education
Sports Injury and Soft Tissue Massage Therapy
Blackrock Further Education Institute
Health Service Skills (Physiotherapy Assistant)
Sport and Recreation Studies
Finn Valley College
Sports Science - Pre University
Greenhills College
Sports, Recreation & Exercise
O'Connell Centre
Sports and Leisure Management – Soccer
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education