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Sports physiotherapy is a challenging area of clinical practice. Sports people, particularly professional athletes, can place significant demands on physiotherapists and other rehabilitation experts to provide rapid injury resolution and performance enhancing prehabilitation, as well as psychological support, in the form of reassurance and the promotion of resilience during return to play.
Adding to these challenges are further internal and external pressures from coaching staff, management, sponsors and fans, with clinical decisions often made in the unique pressure cooker environment, that is, the sports field or court. In the team environment and especially while on tour, sports physiotherapists interact with athletes and team members in both formal and informal (social) contexts, and this can sometimes blur the lines of professional responsibility. Additionally, objectives of the team may conflict with the health and well-being of the athlete, and sports physiotherapists may find themselves in complex situations with little support.1
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.