Sports physical therapy

If you’re competitive or just active, you know how difficult it is to be in pain or have limitations. Whether you are a professional athlete, a recreational one or if you enjoy activities from gardening to hiking to running, sports physical therapy can help you get back to doing what you love as quickly and safely as possible.

No matter what your injury is, our experts at HonorHealth can help. They understand the unique challenges of dealing with all types of injuries and know how to get you back to your individual sport or activity. Your treatment plan will be designed specifically for you – keeping in mind your injury, your goals and what sport or activity you’re working to return to.

What is sports physical therapy?

Sports physical therapy focuses specifically on understanding the needs of athletes and those who desire an active lifestyle. Our therapists have extensive experience working closely with sports and recreationally active populations. They can adjust your treatment plan to fit the sport you play. This allows you to get the highest quality of care, with a focus on safely progressing to return to playing and performing at your highest level.

Who can benefit

The sports physical therapists at HonorHealth can treat all levels of competitive athletes, including youth, high school and professional. Sports physical therapy is not just for the serious athlete. We treat everyone from the “weekend warrior” and recreational athlete to the avid gardener; from the town league soccer player to the young at heart.

If you’re 8 years of age or older and dealing with a physical ailment that is limiting your activities and lifestyle, you can benefit from sports physical therapy. You’ll have the opportunity to work with therapists who are the best at what they do and have extensive experience working with athletes at all levels.

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Services offered

Sports physical therapy treats a full spectrum of musculoskeletal injuries, including back, neck, shoulder, knee, hip, foot and ankle. Our therapists can treat acute and chronic conditions. Regardless of whether this is a new injury, or if it is an issue that has been present for a while limiting you from performing optimally or causes you pain during your activity, we can help.

Your therapist will work directly with you to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique needs. Our therapists promote an accelerated and safe return to your desired level of activity or sport.

Our services include:

  • Manual therapy: Your sports physical therapist will use their hands therapeutically to improve muscle, joint and connective tissue mobility and function. This may include manual stretching, joint mobilization and soft tissue mobilization.
  • Therapeutic exercise: These exercises include stretching and strengthening to improve muscle and neuromotor function. 
  • Therapeutic activity: This activity includes guided tasks designed to improve your physical ability with more than one performance outcome.
  • Proprioceptive training: Neuromotor and balance training are used to improve response and reaction time.
  • Functional progressions: These progressions combine the improvements in strength, flexibility and proprioception for functional movement progression.
  • Cupping: This type of treatment uses suction to pull on your skin and connective tissue which increases blood flow and restores mobility to the affected area.
  • Dry needling: A thin needle is inserted into your myofascial trigger point. The needle stimulates your muscles, which causes them to contract or twitch, helping to relieve pain and improve your range of motion.
  • Modality care: Different treatment options are used based on your condition, such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, joint mobilization, heat and ice.
  • Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization: Instruments are used to break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue, as well as stimulate your body’s local inflammatory response for new cellular turnover and tissue regeneration.
  • Bracing and splinting: These treatments can immobilize and protect joints, decrease swelling and pain, and help facilitate the healing of acute injuries.
  • Kinesio taping: This method of taping improves skin and tissue physiology and its relationship to injury, impaired function, pain and healing.

What to expect at sports physical therapy

Your first visit will be approximately one to one-and-a-half hours in length and will include:

  • A comprehensive evaluation and assessment of your issue
  • Development of an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and goals
  • Starting your exercises and treatment

What’s next? The care plan that you set with your therapist will determine how many times per week you come in for treatment, and future sessions will be approximately one hour in length. Your therapist will make sure your referring provider is kept up-to-date on your treatment and will coordinate with them, as needed.

You’ll also be encouraged to take responsibility for your care. Your therapist will offer instructions for home and corrective exercises to minimize the chance of re-injury. The goal is for you to not have to return to therapy for the same issue in the future.


The primary location for sports physical therapy is HonorHealth Outpatient Therapy – Pima located in central Scottsdale. The team of experts at this location focuses primarily on sports physical therapy and is ready to treat any injury you may have. Once you have a physician referral, we can get authorization from your insurance company quickly so you can get started on your road to recovery. 

Need care closer to home? 

There are qualified sports physical therapists at many HonorHealth outpatient therapy locations throughout the Valley. Our team can direct you to the right therapists and locations.

Ready to make an appointment?

If you have a referral from your primary care physician, you can schedule time with one of our therapists today.

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