Sports Physiotherapy in London (Expert Guide 2024)

sports physiotherapy treatments at One Body London Physiotherapy in London

Sports physiotherapy in London offers athletes and active individuals a vital resource for injury prevention, recovery, and performance enhancement. But what sets it apart from traditional physiotherapy? Our guide will take you through the world of sports physiotherapy, so you can understand if it’s what you need.

At One Body, we are all about empowering athletes of all levels – from weekend warriors and casual gym goers to elite competitors – with award-winning physiotherapy treatments. Our expertise ranges from injury rehabilitation to strength training, with professional therapists who love sports too.

This guide covers the definition of sports physiotherapy, its techniques, treatments, and holistic approach to athletic well-being.

Sports Physiotherapy: What Is It?

Sports physiotherapy is the use of manual therapy techniques to help the body recover from a sports-related condition, injury or illness. Through a sports physiotherapy session, a professional therapist will help you regain strength, range of motion, flexibility, and athletic performance. You should leave your final session with optimal physical function, so you can get back to your sport and perform at your best.

Unlike sports massage (which is also available at One Body), sports physiotherapy can take a focused or holistic approach. It’s all about diagnosing a problem and treating it to restore your health. The goal of sports physiotherapy is rehabilitation. How can we get your body back to its active, healthy state with the function, mobility and strength you need?

Sports massage, on the other hand, can be used for broader purposes like relaxing after training or an event, recovering from hard training, or preventing injury.

Sports Injuries

Much of what we do at One Body is focused on treating sports injuries and helping you prevent them. Some of the sports injuries we frequently see at our London clinics include:

  • Sprains, strains and muscle tears,
  • Ligament injuries (ACL tear),
  • Tendon injuries (tendonitis),
  • Fractures and dislocations,
  • Injuries from overuse (e.g. tennis elbow, runner’s knee, etc.),
  • Ankle instability and sprains,
  • Hamstring injuries,
  • Low back pain and sciatica related to sports activities.

Not all of these injuries are sports-related. In fact, any one who leads an active lifestyle (whether that’s walking the dogs or taking the occasional pilates class) with an injury can be treated with sports physiotherapy.

Learn more about how we treat sports injuries at One Body.

What a Sports Physiotherapist Does

All physiotherapists in the UK must be registered and licensed with the HCPC, so that’s the first thing you should look for when finding a physiotherapist. This shows that the therapist has all the necessary education and training to safely provide physiotherapy.

Sports physiotherapy is a specialisation within the physio profession. To become a sports physiotherapist, the therapist needs to have a deeper understanding of sports and undertake additional education and qualifications.

A good sports physiotherapist will also be naturally interested in sports and have experience in the field. For example, our sports physiotherapists at One Body include ex-athletes, ex-coaches, and even ex-Team GB alumni who are all passionate about athleticism. Their expertise extends beyond traditional physiotherapy to include:

  • Understanding the biomechanics and physical demands of playing different sports,
  • Creating treatment and rehab programs for specific sports,
  • Assessing injury patterns that are common to specific sports,
  • Providing mental and emotional support for athletes during injury recovery or training.

However, a sports physiotherapist can provide more than diagnosis and treatment. To be effective at this job, therapists must become effective communicators and supporters of their clients and athletes. We can also collaborate with coaches, trainers, and other healthcare professionals you might be seeing – whether you rely on the NHS or private healthcare.

But before we get into the treatment and ongoing support, it always starts with an initial assessment and diagnosis.

Assessment and Diagnosis

Sports physio starts with assessments and diagnosis, even if you don’t have a specific injury. We’ll also do a physical examination and, if needed, take imaging to better understand your injuries.

Topics we will talk to you about include:

  • Your sport and its demands on your body,
  • Your level of athleticism and training schedule,
  • Medical history and past injuries,
  • Gait analysis and posture screening to assess your current state,
  • A deeper look at areas of pain, discomfort, restricted movement, or injury.

Professional assessment and diagnosis is so important for effective treatment planning, which is what physiotherapy is all about.

For athletes (or just weekend gym goers who want to get more serious about sports), this assessment and diagnosis is also an awesome chance to get to know your body better. It can uncover strengths and weaknesses, helping you understand why you can’t do so many split squats on one side compared to the other, for example! 

Along with our Full-Body MOT, our sports physiotherapy in London service is an opportunity to not just recover but excel in the long term. An assessment helps you pinpoint areas of your musculoskeletal system that are weaker than they should be or more prone to injury. 

Once the assessment and diagnosis are complete, we can move ahead with the treatment plan.

Sports Physio Treatments (What to Expect)

For our sports physiotherapy in London, we use a range of techniques that are suited to your specific injury or athletic needs. It’s not one-size-fits-all. After your initial assessment and diagnosis, we draw up a treatment plan that will rehabilitate you using the following science-backed therapeutic techniques:

  • Manual therapy (traditional hands-on techniques that manipulate your body, like soft tissue massage and joint mobilisation),
  • Exercise therapy (careful and controlled exercise in one of our state-of-the-art clinics),
  • Taping, bracing and orthotics (ideal for managing sports injuries as they heal).

In some cases, we may also recommend other forms of therapy like electrotherapy and shockwave therapy, or utilise sports massage techniques. At One Body, we can also use cupping and acupuncture to aid your physiotherapy journey.

Overall, the techniques we use for your treatment plan are designed to gradually rehabilitate you to your peak performance. Over numerous sessions, we’ll monitor your progress and readiness, assess your injury recovery, and ensure you know how to safely return to your sport.

Initially, sports physiotherapy may focus on relieving pain and reducing symptoms, so you can carry out day-to-day tasks and move freely. From here, we will work on exercise rehabilitation which can cover everything from fine motor skills to proprioception (your sense of movement). Finally, we focus on strength and endurance, working with you (and/or your coach) to incorporate specific movements, stretches and exercises into your training. We’ll also focus on flexibility and sports-specific movements or actions. This will promote healing, strengthen your body, and give you the knowledge and skills to avoid further injury while training and practising your sport.

Multiple Sessions

The number of sessions you’ll need really depends on your injury or current physical condition. Your first session includes the all-important assessment and diagnosis – this is when the physiotherapist will also estimate the number of sessions you’ll require going forward.

Pain relief can be immediate after a sports physio or massage session, but recovery and rehabilitation take time. Typically, you’ll book weekly sessions to see a sports physiotherapist. These can be arranged around your training schedule or upcoming events and combined with sports massage to ensure all your needs are met. It’s very important that you continue to see a physiotherapist until you are totally rehabilitated.

Physiotherapy takes time to work, especially when taking a holistic approach. At One Body, we want to erase your pain and limitations for the long term, which requires looking at the underlying causes of stiffness, tension, or injury. We don’t just treat the specific joint, muscle, or tissue that’s giving you grief.

Learn more about what we do and get an estimate of how many sessions you’ll require by getting in touch.

exercise therapy as part of sports physiotherapy treatment Physiotherapy in London

Who Can Book Sports Physiotherapy?

Pro-athletes use sports physiotherapy to boost their recovery and performance, but you don’t need to be a professional to benefit from a few sessions. At One Body, we welcome all active individuals of all levels, including:

  • Amateur athletes, including footballers and rugby players,
  • MMA fighters, boxers, and other martial arts enthusiasts,
  • Weight lifters and gym-goers,
  • Golfers, tennis players, and hikers,
  • Runners, joggers and dog walkers,
  • Yoga and pilates practitioners or instructors,
  • Hard workers who endure manual labour every day!

An active lifestyle, whether that means hitting the gym at the weekend or just breaking your back during your 9-to-5, strengthens your body; but it also adds a lot of stress. Whether you have a specific injury or just aches and pains from your activity, sports physiotherapy is a great solution.

When to Book Sports Physiotherapy

You don’t need to be referred by the NHS or a healthcare professional to get sports physiotherapy, though they certainly will refer patients when it’s needed. If any of the following apply to you, then don’t hesitate to explore sports physiotherapy at One Body:

  • You have a recent sports-related injury, whether it’s traumatic like a torn ligament or a result of cumulative overuse like tendinitis,
  • An old sports injury is flaring up and limiting your daily functioning or ability to practise your sport,
  • A health condition or injury that’s unrelated to sports is hindering your ability to stay active or practise your sport,
  • You’ve taken an extended break from your sport and want to work out the kinks before returning,
  • You feel general undiagnosed aches and pains that are inhibiting your ability to function and stay active.

Whether you have a diagnosed injury or just chronic pain and inflammation that is limiting your ability to play sports or stay active, sports physiotherapy is ideal. Using treatments designed to help your body heal and restore mobility, flexibility and strength, we can get you back to performing at your best.

Award-Winning Sports Physiotherapy at One Body

One Body is an award-winning physiotherapy clinic with several convenient locations across London. We specialise in injury rehabilitation, sports physiotherapy, and sports massage to help pro-athletes and amateurs alike. 

When choosing a sports physiotherapist, you should always check their qualifications and certifications. Our therapists have five times the required qualifications to practise in the UK, and many specialise in particular sports and therapy techniques. 

It starts with an assessment.

If you’re unsure if sports physiotherapy is right for you, or just want some answers about how we can help, our assessment will set your mind at ease. Get started today and book a session with an expert sports physiotherapist at One Body in Farringdon, London Bridge, or Old Street.

Explore our physiotherapy services.

Private Health Insurance? Perfect

If you have private health insurance or corporate health benefits, you can use these to pay for your sports physiotherapy sessions! At One Body, we work with all major UK health insurers so you can get your sessions covered at any of our London clinics.

To use your insurance policy to pay for sports physiotherapy in London, contact your insurer using these instructions. You can get your sports physiotherapy sessions sorted for free with private health insurance within 24 hours.


What is sports physiotherapy?

Sports physiotherapy is the manual treatment of the body to restore proper functioning and performance for athletes and active individuals. It’s a treatment that should be performed by a licensed and registered physiotherapist with specialised training in sports performance and injuries.

What is the difference between physio and sports physio?

Physio treats the body to restore proper functioning, mobility, flexibility and strength. Sports physio does the same, but focuses on restoring the body for athletic performance or a specific sports activity.

Should I see a sports physio?

You should see a sports physiotherapist if you have a sports injury, are looking to enhance your performance, or want to avoid getting an injury. A sports massage therapist can also be a great professional to see if you want to better understand your body and prepare/recover for your sport.

How much does a sports physiotherapist cost in the UK?

Prices range depending on the clinic location and therapists’ experience levels. The cost for a 30-minute session in London starts at around £40. If you have private health insurance, you can use this to cover the cost of sports physio sessions.

Do I need a sports massage or sports physiotherapy?

Sports physiotherapy is ideal for diagnosing a specific injury, illness or condition. It focuses on rehabilitating the body. Sports massage, on the other hand, is more suitable for general recovery during training, preparing for an event, relaxing after an event, and preventing future injuries.

Can a sports therapist diagnose?

A sports physiotherapist can diagnose you, as they have the right education and are registered with the HCPC. A sports therapist or massage therapist, on the other hand, may be unable to diagnose you. Likewise, they cannot provide physiotherapy services unless they are licensed to do so!

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