athlete undergoing physiotherapy treatment

29. June 2021

physiotherapy for bodybuilders and muscle recovery treatment

Those who undertake the task of becoming a bodybuilder or athlete have incredible talent and make it look incredibly easy, but at what cost?

Bodybuilding may be seen as an athletic sport, muscle mass artistry or simply a gruelling routine to improve one’s muscle for aesthetic purposes.

And athletes are seen to undergo intense regimes to improve strength, speed and endurance in a variety of competitive sports for entertainment.

Either way, you put a lot of hours into making your body strong and lean through rigorous exercise, diet and training regimes.

This may be for your own pleasure or to compete at an amateur or professional level. Truth is, all this work can put extreme strain on your precious muscles, resulting in severe injuries.

In this blog, we will discover for both bodybuilders and athletes how physiotherapy is a great treatment for muscle recovery. Explore ways in which physiotherapists are able to detect injuries and give the correct physiotherapy treatment. Plus list ways in which to avoid the negative effects of strenuous overload within your regimes.

The most common injuries sustained whilst training

Regardless of whether you’re a bodybuilder or athlete, your ultimate goal is to push your body to its limits and be at your peak level of fitness.

This constant push can bring about extreme results but there’s also a high probability of incurring injuries.

Common injuries a bodybuilder or athlete may encounter:

  • Ankle sprain
  • Elbow tendonitis
  • Groin pull
  • Shoulder injury
  • Hamstring strain
  • Herniated disc
  • Knee injury (ACL tear/ Patellofemoral syndrome)
  • Lower back injury
  • Sciatica

Through rigorous training, some injuries may not present themselves instantly. You may not even notice due to your level of fitness or high pain threshold endurance.

Wanting to reach your goal and not lose precious time, many of you press through the pain. And this is where it can become a tricky situation, which can lead to further complications.

If you notice any of the following, after an injury received through bodybuilding or athletic practice. It's time to seek medical advice from your physiotherapist or GP:

  • Excessive swelling
  • Cannot bear weight (or limb gives way)
  • Changes in skin colour or temperature
  • Deformities of the joint or bone (abnormal movement or looks weird)

Physiotherapy for bodybuilders and athlete muscle recovery

You know everything there is to know about your sport, and your coach knows exactly how to guide you and create effective programs for success.

Yet, as physiotherapists, we’re passionate about how your body moves and the ways in which your bones, joints, muscles and ligaments work together.

Many athletes and bodybuilders have injuries that are not diagnosed, are left untreated, and therefore don’t heal properly.

Just like you, we want you to be at your best, and operating safely. By providing effective physiotherapy for muscle recovery, our aim is to get you healed quicker, whilst reducing your risk of further/future injury.

Advantages of physiotherapy muscle recovery treatment

Continued repetition of exercise programs at such an intense level, causes further problems to occur and delayed recovery time. This means missed competitions, events and even disruption to your personal commitments.

We know you’re the expert at what you do, but we know a thing or two about your body too. Our knowledge combined with yours and your trainer can be a powerful combination and have an edge on the competition!

So here are a few ways to take advantage of the benefits that physiotherapy for bodybuilders and athletes can bring:

Recommended warm-up exercises

Use these as a pre-warm-up to your normal routine.

Programming and selection

Specific muscle groups for safe and extra build or control.


Show exercises that shift pressure from your injury but give desired results.

Body awareness

Help you to understand your pain difference and when to slow down.

Ultimate performance

Give you insight on how to minimise injury and reach your goals safely.

Preventing injuries from worsening

From symptoms and assessment, we can help you stay safe and proceed with caution.

Look after you through the golden years

Regular physiotherapy to prevent injury and maintain healthy muscles can help you throughout your sporting years and beyond.

Screening techniques physiotherapists use

We may use various screening techniques, to assess and determine your current state of injury and use our findings to ensure optimal musculoskeletal health and prevention of further injury.

Screening techniques our physiotherapists may use for bodybuilders and athletes are:


Of family, medical and sporting history to identify trends or areas of weakness that can be maintained, prevented or improved.

Cardiovascular screening

Controlled exercise to measure analytics that can identify abnormalities that could provoke disease or severe injury.

Musculoskeletal screening

Assessment of the body to identify current but also previous areas of injury that may need further attention.

Performance screening

A test of a functional range of movements in order to progress in training, and meet the requirements of regimes and competitive demands.

How to prevent the negative effects of overtraining your body

Whether cardiovascular or strength training, overtraining is increasingly becoming a problem.

Overtraining isn’t simply exhaustion or soreness. Overexertion is serious and can affect your heart, body, mind and mood.

To prevent the negative effects of overtraining your body, here are a few thighs to look out for:

Elevated resting heart rate

Knowing your RHR, being elevated can be a sign of fighting infection.

Severe muscle soreness

If it lasts longer than 72 hours you need to rest and speak to one of our physiotherapists.


Lack of sleep, especially when you’re exhausted, can lead to incurring serious injury.


If you’re not listening to the niggles in your body, stress will manifest in an emotional form.


If you’re overloading and not allowing yourself time to heal, you will continue to sustain injuries.

How to manage overtraining:

  • Use a heart rate device
  • Plan regular rest days (and DON’T skip them)
  • Use your physiotherapist (if something is bothering you, that’s what they’re there for!)
  • Have early nights (sleep is when you repair)
  • Maintain a healthy diet (this helps for hormonal and mood balance)
  • Keep your sessions to a workable limit (don’t be tempted to do one more rep or lap)

We work it out, so you don’t have to

At CK Physio, we know how staying in shape is extremely important to you. And whilst there have been restrictions for gyms and training facilities, training has had to adapt and many have endured injuries.

If you have experienced any of the injuries mentioned, need advice or guidance, or simply wish to seek further information for self-help on physiotherapy muscle recovery treatment. Please use our online booking form, where our dedicated team is waiting to help.

You can schedule a virtual consultation for your convenience to discuss any issues, problems or queries you may have.

Having an injury may be tough, but so are you. We work it out, so you don’t have to!

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