Here at BWT Physiotherapists, we are not only concerned with treating our patients injuries and returning them back to full fitness but BWT also carry out preventative screening and conditioning to ensure optimal fitness levels and hopefully to prevent injuries occurring in the future.
Screening assessments are an important part of preparing individuals for their particular sport, such as our high performance tennis players at West Hants tennis club.
Our reasons for screening at BWT
- Identify past and current injuries: A specific exercise prescription can then be aimed at managing the condition and preventing further injury.
- Highlight inter-player differences: Direct conditioning training programs can then be set for various levels of fitness, indicate parameters required for the sport and encourage the lower level athlete to strive to higher levels of participation.
- Determine physical changes over time, which is particularly important in the growing athlete and athlete participating in long hours of training/competition for one or more sports.
- Provide feedback and guidance to the strength and conditioning coaches/ personnel trainers (if involved) to optimise the athlete’s progressions and competitive goals.
What does a typical screening assessment involve at BWT
• Postural observations
• Gait (walking) assessment
• Muscle lengths and strengths and joint flexibility
• Neuromuscular assessment, how coordinated your muscles work in sequence with each other
• Functional sport specific testing
Spotting potential problems early can enable us to be proactive in targeting strategies to quickly make adjustments to performance before injury occurs.
Who is it for?
Screening is especially useful for adolescents, whose bodies are still growing. The screening helps to establish how the muscles and bones are developing and can identify any areas of weakness.
Nevertheless, we have also been involved in screening programmes for the rest of us! Whether you are looking to change, progress or maintain a certain level of fitness.
Whilst working at the Royal Marine camp in Poole, BWT physiotherapists helped develop a screening program specific for the Royal Marines roles whether it was hill running, load carrying or distance running with full kit. This was used to assess how they adapted to the intense pressures put on them and helped to ensure preventable injuries from imbalance or overuse were minimised.
Our involvement with both the Royal Marines and the high performance tennis players has shown that it has been very beneficial in the early identification of health concerns and changes in an athlete’s fitness or strength levels.
Professional associations for exercise specialists, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science (AAESS), acknowledge the benefits of screening programmes from specialist sports therapists.