Sports injuries are generically classified as either traumatic or overuse injuries. My physical therapy sessions address the painful conditions of Plantar Faciatis, Shin Splints,Runners Knee, Cramp, Rotator Cuff Injuries, Achillies Tendonitis, IT Band Syndrome, Wrist Tendonitis, or Repetitive Stress Injuries, Sciatic Nerve Pain (Sciatica) Tennis Elbow & Golfers elbow (although this condition is very likely to have other associated origins other than tennis or golf), whiplash, muscle strains and general sports injuries.
Many types of injury are caused by having a hard contact with something- this often causes ligament, tendon or bone damage.
A strain (small tear) in the muscle or ligament tissue will give you inflammation, pain, localised heat, swelling, redness and loss of function. This generally is the same in all cases. The inflammation will last 5 days from the initial trauma/ event.
How do you prevent injury?
Pre-activity: Warm up effectively, stretch
Post-activity: Warm down and stretch.
Have weekly or fortnightly massage treatments to ensure the muscle is not tense to start with. This will not only prevent further damage to a tense muscle, but will allow you to ‘up your game’ I have had serious sports/ gym clients present with the severest tension, who are under the threat of a serious injury, without even realising it! Their response is always the same- whilst the initial treatment uncomfortable at times, the outcome was dynamic, stamina improved and the ability to train ‘harder’ with ease very notable and satisfying.
What Do You Do If You Injure Yourself?
Welcome to R-I-C-E!
The following regime will help speed up your recovery and reduce your pain! Until the inflammation has eased follow the simple guidelines below:
Reduce or stop using the injured area for 48 hours. If you have a leg injury, you may need to stay off of it completely.
Put an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, 4 to 8 times per day. Use a cold pack, ice bag, or a plastic bag filled with crushed ice that has been wrapped in a towel.
Compression of an injured ankle, knee, or wrist may help reduce the swelling. These include bandages such as elastic wraps, special boots, air casts and splints. Ask your doctor which is best.
Keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart. Use a pillow to help elevate an injured limb.
Anti-inflammatory gels or tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen) may be useful to help with pain relief
Massage treatment, coupled with targeted mobilisation and stretches will get you on the road to recovery.
Does general muscle tension affect my sporting ability, even though I stretch?
This is a question I get asked frequently. The answer is most definitely YES!!!
The problem is that until you get a ‘decent’ massage treatment you are (generally) unaware of the level of tension held in the body. When you exercise you put pressure on the muscles to ‘perform’ and ‘achieve’ however, if there is a serious underlying tension already you are much closer to injury without even realising!
What Causes Muscle Tension?
Physical & (you may be surprised to read) emotional stress can create the tension within the affected muscles. If this tension remains for too long it can lead to repetitive strain and inflammation in the area which results in a pain/spasm cycle. Therefore, it is important to get at the source of the tension and take preventative steps for eliminating the stress and helping the muscles return to their normal state of relaxation.