Toria20
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#1
Hi there everyone!! Just wondered what your views are on this subject.

Eventually career-wise I would like to go into the sports medicine field. I know that most sports clubs have physios rather than sports therapists which makes me think that physiotherapy is really the route to go down. But, I have looked into sports therapy and sports rehab courses and they seem to be perfect for someone like me who knows exactly what area they want to work in.

So my question is, will a degree in sports therapy or sports rehab give me the same career prospects sportswise, or is physiotherapy going to be best?

Thanks for your help
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jinglepupskye
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If your interest is in Sport then don't bother with Physiotherapy.

My rationale for that statement is, that while Physiotherapy sounds as though it will be useful, in effect it won't teach you what you need to know for sport, ie Exercise prescription, handling fit people rather than just those with injuries, and most importantly, you will do very, very little massage which is virtually essential in any sports role.

If I were you, I would go into very detailed investigation of the course content for each Sports Therapy/Rehab course and select the one that gives the best fit for your overall ambition.

In addition I would strongly suggest that you view vacancies for the jobs that you want to do and see what the person specification is asking for. That way you can tailor your course and pick up additional requested experience while you are at university.
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Ironmike
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I disagree slightly with the above.

I work at a gym, and one of the guys did a sports therapy degree. He has found getting work to be a nightmare. Jobs in sporting fields are pretty few and far between. You might get 50 quid a weekend for working with the local football club, but in terms of a job that you do all week long, they don't seem to come up very often at all. Then you are confronted with that catch 22 situation whereby they want experience, but the only way to get experience is to get a job...He graduated two years back, and has given up on the field. He's going to join his dad's family building business and maybe do some private massage on the side.

Second point is that doing a sports therapy degree will not give you membership of the CSP. This is what you need (I believe I am correct) to work in a NHS trust. This excludes you from quite a bit of the marketplace in terms of a big employer. The guy I work with also said that a lot of the jobs he looked at at private practices wanted physios as opposed to sports therapists as obviously a practice will see a wide range of people as opposed to just sporty types.

I think by doing sports therapy, you really narrow down the field in which you can work. It's a lot more of a specialist area, and therefore narrows down your options upon graduating. I don't speak from a lot of experience, but that is certainly the feeling I get from my mate. Doing a physio degree, you can get qualified in sports massage reasonably easily I believe by doing a top up course in sports therapy. If you do a search for a thread I started a couple of weeks back about sports massage during a physio degree, someone posted a link there to some resources - might even have been jinglepupskye.

From my understanding (I'm about to start the first year of physio), the manual therapy content has gone down in a physio degree, and that the workplace is getting more hands off as opposed to physios getting stuck in with patients. However, for me personally, specialising in just sports is too specific. A physio qualification gives you the opportunity of working in sports, but also opens the doors to all other areas should that not work out. How certain are you that you want to work with athletes? I know when I am injured I am a nightmare, and I think that being a sports physio for me would be right down the list of specialities I would want to go into!
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jinglepupskye
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As I said before he needs to look at the person specifications for the jobs that he is interested in. So far as I am aware the vast majority of jobs for Sports Therapists have nothing to do with the NHS and therefore membership of the CSP is irrelevant. In any case membership of the CSP is restricted to Physios and associate members. I believe that you must be thinking of registration with the Health Professions Council (HPC).

He will also be eligible for registration with the Sport's Therapists own regulatory body and in view of the recent decision to regulate the title of Sports Therapist to those who are members of the HPC - in the same way that Physiotherapist must register with the HPC - there seems to be no advantage in doing Physiotherapy.

In fact, it would be counter-productive as he would then be obliged to seek out courses which would be acceptable to the HPC once regulation of Sports Therapists is achieved in order to gain the registration to work as a Sports Therapist.

Qualifying as a Sports Therapist would also give him the opportunity to take up jobs which require GP referral qualifications as well as all the healthy living opportunities. Sports therapists actively practice group exercise classes as part of their training and also study nutrition. They have education in treating 'well' people and preventing injury when exercising. These are areas which are barely touched in Physiotherapy.
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ophqui
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well the actual physio degree has little to nothing to do with sport, so thats definitely something to bear in mind. BUT there are placements availiable in sports clubs, well, if your studying at LMU there are (burnley FC, Leeds rhinos and Leeds Utd are all getting students from our year at some point this year), and for whatever reason a physio degree seems to trump a sports therapy degree in the minds of big sports clubs, who do as you pointed out, seem to hire physios.
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jinglepupskye
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(Original post by ophqui)
well the actual physio degree has little to nothing to do with sport, so thats definitely something to bear in mind. BUT there are placements availiable in sports clubs, well, if your studying at LMU there are (burnley FC, Leeds rhinos and Leeds Utd are all getting students from our year at some point this year), and for whatever reason a physio degree seems to trump a sports therapy degree in the minds of big sports clubs, who do as you pointed out, seem to hire physios.
But will they continue to do so once they realise that they are getting a person who hasn't got the massage and exercise experience that they require?


In that case willl they choose someone who has a more focused training and is equally registered with the HPC? There is no point in looking at things from a historical perspective. You need to know what is happening now and what is going to happen in the future at the time you graduate.
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ophqui
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(Original post by jinglepupskye)
But will they continue to do so once they realise that they are getting a person who hasn't got the massage and exercise experience that they require?


In that case willl they choose someone who has a more focused training and is equally registered with the HPC? There is no point in looking at things from a historical perspective. You need to know what is happening now and what is going to happen in the future at the time you graduate.
well i reckon most of the guys who get the jobs will have done outside courses on sports massage etc, plus they have whatever else it is that we learn as physio students (dont know too many details on sports therapy courses tbh, so i dont know what it is that we learn thats different, i assume a higher level of theoretical knowledge, but thats only a guess)
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InArduisFouette
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the market will change if and when Sports Therapists get statutory registration.

the problem at present ( as was seen with podiatry ) is that any tom, **** or harriet was calling themselves by the title ...
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swiftuk
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If I was trying to choose between the two courses, I think that the reasoning behind the delays in regulation make interesting reading.

(8.1 onwards).

http://www.hpc-uk.org/assets/documen...11_minutes.pdf

More detailed here:

http://www.hpc-uk.org/assets/documen...nclosure04.pdf
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Ironmike
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Interesting stuff. I guess for me, I am more interested in the rehab side of things, and the more NHS based practices such as post stroke patients, neuro etc. Having studied sports medicine the last couple of years for various gym qualifications, it doesn't have the same appeal to me. I can see a lot of fields coming together over the next few years such as Occupational therapists, physios, sports therapists, osteos maybe. Seems due to budgetary constraints, the powers that be will be looking to combine whatever they can.
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jinglepupskye
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(Original post by Ironmike)
Interesting stuff. I guess for me, I am more interested in the rehab side of things, and the more NHS based practices such as post stroke patients, neuro etc. Having studied sports medicine the last couple of years for various gym qualifications, it doesn't have the same appeal to me. I can see a lot of fields coming together over the next few years such as Occupational therapists, physios, sports therapists, osteos maybe. Seems due to budgetary constraints, the powers that be will be looking to combine whatever they can.
Well, it is pretty clear that Physiotherapists are trying to muscle into areas that Sports Therapists would normally cover, with this CSP Move for Health stunt. The fact that Physios aren't trained to give this kind of advice seems to have passed them by! It's a bit like ambulance-chasing in my view.

Physios should reclaim their own turf (ie: massage), before running after other profession's turf.
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Cassius C
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'If your interest is in Sport then don't bother with Physiotherapy'....

Can't agree with that at all. English Institute for sport, British Olympic, FA, Football clubs? All of whom advertise for Physiotherapists. I suspect Physios may end up displacing sports & exercise trained staff rather than the other way around.

It's a good debate but not as unequivocal as the opening statement suggests.
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jinglepupskye
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(Original post by Cassius C)
'If your interest is in Sport then don't bother with Physiotherapy'....

Can't agree with that at all. English Institute for sport, British Olympic, FA, Football clubs? All of whom advertise for Physiotherapists. I suspect Physios may end up displacing sports & exercise trained staff rather than the other way around.

It's a good debate but not as unequivocal as the opening statement suggests.
Currently advertise for physios. What about when Sports Therapists are regulated by the same body as Physios? Then Physio's education falls far short of the knowledge and skill set that is required in sport.

In order to displace Sports Therapists, Physio baic education would have to bring back their skills in massage, learn more exercise and group training, add nutrition and GP referral schemes. I'm not saying that it can't be done but a newly qualified Sports Therapist fresh out of university has a more focused skill set than a Physio when it comes to sport.
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almaf
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Why not complete both degrees
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jinglepupskye
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(Original post by almaf)
Why not complete both degrees
Money!!
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Cassius C
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The physio profession is embedded in the culture of sport and I don't see it changing quickly if it ever does. My issue is with the headline advice 'If you're interested in sport then don't bother with physio'. I feel that statement is misleading and unhelpful for someone considering their next step in life.

A good physio will always have a role to play in sport and rehabilitation. The debate is to what degree - as you point out, the future is clouded by sports therapy.
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woo562
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Just my humble opinion but if you want the best of both worlds, you need to do physiotherapy and then go on to become a sports physio. I work with an experienced sports physio for my CPD and he is amazing (I am a sports therapist).. his range of knowledge on sports injuries and rehab techniques is outstanding
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jinglepupskye
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(Original post by woo562)
Just my humble opinion but if you want the best of both worlds, you need to do physiotherapy and then go on to become a sports physio. I work with an experienced sports physio for my CPD and he is amazing (I am a sports therapist).. his range of knowledge on sports injuries and rehab techniques is outstanding
But I bet he didn't get that knowledge from his physiotherapy course.
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DavidR399
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I am a mature student looking who has just completed a higher certificate in Ireland with a view to doing physiotherapy and also sports rehab in the UK to have a dual degree, aka sports physio. my problem is i haven't been offered a physio place this year but the uni's have offered me sports rehab places instead (coincidence).

This may seem like the same difference but the cost of three years is going to be 24 thousand sterling and then 2 years pre reg physio after i finish the sports rehab course.

Whats peoples thoughts on this, should I take a gap year and go for physio again next year or get my foot in the door and start my journey regardless of the money i have to pay off!!
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ST Trish
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I did my degree in Sports Coaching and exercise sciences, after quickly realising I wanted to be involved in the rehabilitation and hands on application of keeping my athletes at peak form I trained with the Active Health Group in Manchester and graduated with an advanced level 5 diploma in Sports Therapy.

The content was incredible , the opportunities they have provided me and my course mates with for work are beyong imaginable, access to the Olympic Games, international elite level athletes through recruitment work by the Official Sports Services, endless elite event coverage which has proved amazing for networking amongst athletes, and the knowledge on how to market yourself and run your own business as a clinic owner or freelance sports therapist.

The Physio vs Sports Therapist debate has been going on for a while, but hands down, Sports Therapist hold a bigger, specified skill set required by the sporting field. We had numerous physios come train on our course for modules because they didnt have anywhere near the hands on exprerience or knowledge necessary to begin working in a sporting field.



Elite teams are siding with Sports Therapists more than ever now and its down to the tireless efforts the Sports Therapy Organisation have gone through to have their therapists recognised, and the industry promoted.

I'm truly proud to be part of this rewarding, fast evolving profession. In the 3 years I've been practicing, I've travelled the world working in multidiscilplianry clinics, correcting chronic internal injuries, musculoskeletal imblanaces increasing my international profile. Now comfortably settled in the UK earning £40 an hour... I'm fortunate enough to be embraced in a multidisciplinary clinic working alongside 12 physios, 5 PTs, Osteopaths and Chiropractors, as the only Sports Therapist. A brave move ! But in a world of health professionals, we all have our roles to play, thankfully I'm greatly appreciated in our clinic, so if you know what you want to do, research the course content in depth before committing.
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