Preventing Sports Injuries
Sports activities are a regular way of life for many of us now, and involve people from across all age groups from the elite professional to the casual participant. Often, sports injuries are the result of overuse: i.e playing too hard and too often; or from not warming up properly beforehand, or not stretching after exercise.
Sometimes incorrect equipment can lead to injuries: ill-fitting footwear can cause hip, knee and foot injuries. Reduced joint flexibility will affect the degree of performance and may result in injury if the player is unaware that they cannot perform to the same level as they used to. For example, the golfers who cannot turn at the waist as well as they used to, and the enthusiastic older footballer whose knees do not bend as well as they once did.
Young people, especially, are vulnerable in sport as their growing bodies are often expected to perform to high standards and are putting exceptional physical demands on themselves. The good news is that although sports injuries are common, those who are fit tend to recover more quickly and easily from their injuries.
How Osteopathy can help
An osteopath can help improve performance as well as treat the injuries being suffered. By using their knowledge of diagnosis and highly developed palpatory skills they can helpt to restore structural balance, improve joint mobility and reduce adhesions and soft tissue restrictions so that ease of movement is restored and performance enhanced. For those of you wishing to keep fit, the osteopath can help you keep supple and improve muscle tone so reducing the risk of injury to soft tissues unaccustomed to the extra work they are being asked to do. Advise on diet and exercise which will help you with your specific sport may also be offered
- Begin slowly and build up, especially after an injury
- Warm up first, and then warm down with stretches afterwards
- Keep hydrated during exercise
- Exercise regularly and vary the types of exercise you are doing every day