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Sports Injuries 


Sports Clinic | Sports Physiotherapy | Ballsbridge Physiotherapy | Physiotherapist | Baggot Street

Our physiotherapy clinic can help if you…

  • Experience pain or discomfort on physical activity
  • Injure yourself whilst participating in sports
  • Repeatedly re-injure yourself or the same body part
  • Have poor postural or movement control that hinders your performance
  • Wish to return to sport as soon as possible
  • Are generally unfit
  • Require a full screening prior to participating in sport or a particular event. David Richards is the physiotherapist who leads this service in the clinic

Common Sport Injuries

Femeroacetabular Impingement

This is a condition where the bones of the hip are abnormally shaped. Because the bones don’t fit together perfectly there can be some friction between the structures of the hip. This can lead to pain, discomfort, and limitation of movement. Physiotherapy can be helpful in maximising movement around the hip, strengthening the hip musculature and providing advice on suitable sporting activities.

Sporting Groin

Groin pain resulting from a sports injury is a common condition. Sports involving kicking and quick changes of direction such as GAA and soccer carry the biggest risk for groin injuries. Pain can come on suddenly with a kick, or more gradually, where the player notices a reduction in speed and kicking distance. A number of structures can be involved in groin pain including the adductor, hip flexor or abdominal muscles, the inguinal ligament and the pubic symphysis. Correct diagnosis and management is vital to ensure speedy return to play.

Patellofemoral Pain

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is referred to as pain in the front of the knee that is caused by irritation of the joint where the knee cap joins the thigh bone. Palletofemoral pain is prevalent in runners and cyclists and some of the symptoms include; pain at the front of the knee, knee pain when coming down stairs, knee pain with walking or running. Local treatment to the irritated tissues and addressing the faulty mechanics by screening the movement patterns of the lower limb can help to resolve the problem.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Poor biomechanics can lead to the development of this common running injury. This can include fallen arches or high arches, weak gluteal or hip muscles and a poor running pattern. Biomechanical assessment of the lower limb is necessary to find the cause of this problem. Treatment will focus on correcting your biomechanics, strengthening weak muscles and advice regarding training frequency, intensity and duration to manage your symptoms effectively.  Functional rehabilitation may also be of value in improving movement control of the lower limb.

TIP: To help prevent IT Band syndrome, change your running shoes regularly. If you feel pain on the outside of the knee, rest from the aggravating activity for 3 days. If symptoms persist consult your Chartered Physiotherapist.

Rupture of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament

A rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee can occur when the knee twists or turns while the foot is stuck on the ground. This can happen when landing from a jump. A hyperextension injury can also result in a torn ACL. Many people feel a pop when rupturing their ACL and the knee normally swells immediately. Surgery is often indicated following a tear of the ACL. It is important to complete a thorough rehabilitation programme following ACL surgery to ensure the knee regains full function.


The function of cartilage in the knee is to act as a shock absorber. Cartilage injuries can occur with a sudden twisting injury to the knee or they can occur as a result of repeated movements such as twisting, over a long period of time. Pain in the knee from a cartilage injury can be accompanied by a catching, clicking or locking sensation. Initial management can include mobilisations to increase movement in the knee and a strengthening programme for the knee. In certain cases a minimally invasive procedure called an arthroscopy will be required to repair the cartilage. Some patients may require physiotherapy to restore full function. All will require an exercise programme.


An ankle sprain is a very common injury that can often result from a movement where the foot is forcibly turned in. This can happen when landing from a jump, stepping down off the footpath or even from walking in high heels. Swelling and pain with walking are common features of ankle sprains. These can range in severity from a mild sprain that will settle in 7-10 days to a quite severe injury that can take months of rehabilitation. Ligament damage responds very well to physiotherapy and a rehabilitation programme is essential to prevent further injuries. Biomechanical assessment of the feet is of value, especially in recurrent injuries.


Weakness in the structures on the outside of the ankle, usually following an ankle sprain, can result in ankle instability. Patients with chronic ankle instability can report repeated spraining of the ankle and persistent pain. Full rehabilitation of a first ankle sprain is the most important factor in preventing ankle instability. Physiotherapy treatment can be very helpful for an unstable ankle. Strengthening exercises and balance retraining can reduce symptoms of pain and instability.


The Achilles tendon is the large tendon that stretches from your heel bone to your calf muscles and it allows you to point your toes to the floor. It is a commonly injured tendon and the majority of Achilles tendon injuries are due to tendinopathy, an overuse injury in which the tendon becomes painful. Tendinopathy responds well to physiotherapy, sometimes eccentric loading programmes will be used.


The Achilles tendon normally ruptures or breaks when a great force is applied to the foot with the knee straight as in starting a sprint. Many people report the feeling of having been shot in the back of the leg and the leg is very painful. When the Achilles tendon is completely ruptured the patient will have great difficulty rising up onto his toes. These can be treated conservatively or with surgery. With either approach, physiotherapy is an important part of rehabilitation.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a condition that is characterised by pain in the shoulder with stiffness affecting all or most movements. Frozen shoulder can also be referred to as adhesive capsulitis and the symptoms typically begin gradually but then worsen over time.

It can occur following injury or for no apparent reason. In general, a frozen shoulder will get better over time – some respond very quickly while others need continuous management. Ice and anti-inflammatory medication may help in the early stages, and physiotherapy is vital to restore full range of movement.

Your risk of developing frozen shoulder increases if you’re recovering from a medical condition or procedure that affects the mobility of your arm — such as a fracture or a mastectomy. If you would like more information about shoulder pain, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at the clinic.


The shoulder is a very mobile joint with a great range of movement in different directions. What it gains in mobility it loses in stability and it is a commonly dislocated joint. This can result from a fall on the outstretched arm. Normally this will require a visit to A+E for X-rays to be taken and the shoulder relocated. The arm will rest in a sling for a few weeks following this and subsequently physiotherapy to strengthen the shoulder muscles will be required. If the shoulder dislocates a second time

Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons help to keep the head of your upper arm bone firmly within the shallow socket of the shoulder.

shoulder injury can occur following injury, overuse, or from poor neck/upper back posture. Irritation of the rotator cuff tendons can be the source of pain. Most people will recover from a rotator cuff injury with physical therapy exercises and the outcome is very good in most cases. Local injection can enhance response to Physiotherapy, but surgery may be necessary for severe rotator cuff injuries involving complete tears of the muscle or tendon.

Rotator cuff injuries occur most often in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their jobs or sports. Examples include painters, carpenters, and people who play baseball or tennis. The risk of rotator cuff injury also increases with age.

Tennis elbow

Overuse of the muscles that move the wrist can result in a condition called tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is an over use injury in which pain normally comes on gradually following an increase or change in activity. The pain is normally on the outside of the elbow and may be associated with neck and upper back problems.

Tennis elbow is not just restricted to tennis players and the medical term for this condition is lateral epicondylalgia.

Treatment for tennis elbow is most often successful, with an important part of treatment being rest from aggravating activities. Most people respond to a variety of approaches. If you suspect that you are suffering from tennis elbow, contact our team today and we would be more than happy to assess you.

 Golfer’s elbow

You don’t have to be a golfer to suffer from ‘golfer’s elbow’! The pain is centred on the inside of the elbow. Gripping movements increase the pain. Overuse or repetitive movements are often the cause of the problem.

One of the main causes of pain in the elbow is tendinopathy. This is a condition in which the tendons become irritated for a variety of reasons, and the action of pulling the muscle becomes painful. Tendinopathy of the elbow is a sports injury that often occurs when playing tennis or golf. You may also get tendinopathy from overuse of the elbow.


To find out more about the services that Ballsbridge Physiotherapy can provide please contact us.