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  • Writer's pictureBankstown Physiotherapy

3 Steps to preventing injury

It’s as logical as 2 + 2 = 4 … athletes constantly train to maintain their abilities, growth and development. Athletes tend to put themselves through blood, sweat and tears in order to dominate their opponents, with injuries almost becoming a common factor to their training and playing. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is what Jim Liakos highlights when speaking on preventive measures to rehabilitant sports injuries. Although athletes requires extensive training, it is the routine that sets them apart from the rest. The avoidance in injuries that will drive their success in their respective sports.

Here are three steps to preventing sports injuries:

1: Adjust goals as your fitness improves

In other words, if you want to run a marathon and today is your first training day, start with a walk around the block. Burning out or allowing your ego to handle your training can sometimes increase the chances of copping an injury. When adjusting your routine to match your goals, it is essential in being realistic and sustainable to prepare for any new challenge in the routine set or surrounding yourself around an experienced professional to guide through proper use of technique in an attempt to increase and improve your performance.

Have you noticed that when you watch sports, a player tends to know their limitations when they sense they are injured? It’s almost a sixth sense to them. Feeling sore after general activity is normal but if it prolongs to longer periods, it generally means that it needs to be checked, worked on and rehabilitated.

Moral is, if you are thinking of running long Km’s, and it’s your first time doing it. Take care of your body … walk first, then jog … then when you’re feeling comfortable run, and repeat the sequence.

2: Warm up and cool down

It’s amazing! Our bodies have powerful engines to take on a lot of physical activity. Think of it this way, when you’re training, your heart rate, body temperature, pressure and even your breathing all work together and change depending on the intensity of your exercise to guide you through it. Who would’ve thought? But then there are the initial “going too hard, too fast” to gain a shortcut in your training routine and it could cause some bumps. Warming up before workout is almost as having breakfast! It’s considered vital to get your joints and ligaments “warmed up” to get the most our of your performance. Going in without a warm up can increase your chance of copping an injury.

Before exercise

A dynamic warm up can do wonders! Going on the treadmill for 10-15 mins can improve your blood flow and flexibility immensely! Jim Liakos – A physiotherapist at Bankstown Physiotherapy advises to “apply a heat product that stimulates muscles, tendons and ligaments, allowing them to stretch comfortably and easily”.

After exercise: Sports scientists recommend a warm down routine immediately after exercise or sport. The purpose of it is to transition the body back to a resting state, reduce the heart rate, stabilise breathing and increase oxygen in our body and muscles. Not warming down your muscles after intense physical activity can lead to tired muscles, lack of performance, potential immune system issues and so on over time. To further assist with your warm down routine, use a massage oil like Deep Heat PRO Sports Recovery Massage Oil - designed to warm down, loosen and help repair muscles whilst quickly increasing blood circulation to that area. Combining your general warm down exercise with heat and massage improves your muscle recovery, helps lengthen your muscles and reduces post workout soreness.

3: Listen to your body

Exercise should be steadily increased, and fitness maintained at a level you are comfortable with. It’s true that the feel-good factor of exercise makes it difficult to hold back, but pushing too hard can lead to an injury setback and total derailment of your plans. Your body needs to adjust to the new stresses experienced in muscles, joints and bones, and while a short-lived mild ache is ‘good pain’, ongoing and extended pain isn’t a positive sign. You may be surprised to find that scaling back your training intensity can improve health, sporting longevity and overall performance.

What are some types of sports injuries?

The majority of sports injuries fall into two categories: ‘trauma’ (acute) injuries and ‘overuse’ injuries. Acute injuries include ligament sprains, muscle strains, fractures, dislocations and cramps. Overuse injuries are equally debilitating, including tendinitis or stress fractures that can put you out of the game for a long time.

On the plus side, sports science continues to evolve and adapt to changing demands. State of the art training equipment and cutting-edge medical procedures provide a physical and mental advantage like never before, and when coupled with the tried and tested reliability of Deep Heat products, preventing sports injuries and performing to the best of your ability is a very real possibility.

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