Sports injuries are a common occurrence both on and off the field. Physical and contact sports athletes are especially prone to injury, but over-training or poor movement patterns are just as likely to result in injuries. Prevention is often the key to staying healthy and for optimal performance.
Fortunately, even severe sports injuries can be treated and rehabilitated with physiotherapy. It can be helpful in the prevention and management of these injuries, regardless of the age or athletic ability of the athlete.
If you are experiencing joint stiffness or muscle tightness that won’t go away after training, if you are unable to increase the intensity of training or are experiencing a decrease in your performance, book an assessment with a Maplecare physiotherapists.
Common Sports Injuries Include:
- plantar fascilitis
- achilles tendonitis
- knee injuries
- ankle sprains
- muscle tesnion
- rotator cuff injuries
- ACL or other knee injuries
- shin splints
- spinal injuries
Prevention of Sports Injuries:
Injuries often occur when people suddenly increase the duration, intensity, or frequency of their activities. Many soft-tissue injuries can be prevented through proper conditioning and training. Other prevention tips include:
- Develop a balanced fitness program that incorporates cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility. Add activities and new exercises cautiously.
- Warm up to prepare for exercise. Run in place for a few minutes or gently rehearse the motions of the exercise you will be doing. Warming up increases your heart and blood flow rates and loosens up muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
- Drink enough water to prevent dehydration.
- Make cooling down the final phase of your exercise routine. Slow your motions and lessen the intensity of your movements for at least 10 minutes before you stop completely.
- Stretch after exercise.
- Schedule regular days off from intense exercise and rest when tired.
- Avoid the “weekend warrior” syndrome.
Physiotherapy For Sports Injuries:
Preseason is the best time to schedule an assessment with Maplecare’s phyisotherapist in order to determine your risk of injury. This will include both a look at muscle imbalances, strength and will include discussions of previous injuries or training concerns. The therapist will then develop an individualized program to improve your overall performance.
However, even with the program developed by your physiotherapist, an injury may occur. If this happens, first follow the RICE protocol of rest, ice, compression, elevation and see your doctor if necessary. Then book an appointment with a physiotherapist.
Physiotherapy treatment may include:
- ice, heat, ultrasound, electrical modalities, acupuncture to reduce pain and inflammation
- taping, wrapping or bracing
- manual therapy
- massage or tissue release
- stretching and strength training
- exercises to address any muscle imblances and poor training patterns you have so that your injury does not recur.
There is also a type of phyisotherapy called Vestibular Therapy which will help with the dizziness and other symptoms of a concussion. Very specific exercises are used to retrain your brain and your vestibular system so that you can return to your sport safely.