Is there a difference in treating a sports person and a non-sports person?

I often get asked “so you only treat sports injuries” or “this is a sports injury clinic so I did not think it was the right clinic for me to go to”.

My answer to such questions is that basically there is no difference in the initial treatment approach to a sports person and non-sports person. We are all humans who have the same muscloskeletal makeup so it does not matter how someone injures themselves as the treatment protocols will be the same.

Take low back pain as an example, a rugby player could have an impact injury to the lower back whereas someone could lift a heavy object in the garden equally causing low back pain. The initial treatment protocol will be the same for both in that the aim will be to reduce the muscle spasm and improve mobility.

The difference arises on the rehabilitation front.

The non-sports person will be happy to be out of pain and be able to perform their everyday tasks. They will likely be given some rehab exercises which will maintain their recovery.

With the sports person being out of pain is one thing but they have to be able to return to their sport without breaking down again. So in this instance return to play protocols will be put in place whereby the athlete will be given exercises to strengthen the injured area as well as sports specific drills which will build until they are fully fit to integrate back to full training.

My team and I work at Canterbury Rugby Club so we see injuries first hand at pitch side. We then treat the player and as soon as they can return to train they work with the rehab physio for a time in order to be match fit again. There is a lot of crossover as the player will likely still be having hands on treatment as well as doing rehab drills on the pitch before returning to full contact.

Our team at Joy Lane Clinic are fully skilled at treating all types of injuries, they do not have to be sports specific so head over to and see what some of our patients say!