Whether you’re a gym regular, or just taking up a new sport, you’ll want to be sure that injury doesn’t interrupt your fitness routine.
Chartered physiotherapists can help you avoid and manage sports injuries. They are experts in body movement and understand how muscles and joints work and why injuries can occur.
Physiotherapists suggest that warming up before working out or playing sport, and cooling down afterwards can help you avoid injury – especially if you build in a few exercises that help prepare your body for the type of activity you’re about to undertake.
While the benefits of exercise strongly outweigh the risks, it’s important to recognise that sports injuries can occur and can affect all joints, muscles and ligaments. The nature of the activity can determine which joints are most at risk. Tennis, for example, increases the risk of shoulder problems, whereas running and football can increase the likelihood of knee and ankle injuries.
Sports Injuries are common and can often be attributed to missing out important steps such as the ‘warm-up’ and the ‘cool down’. Failing to warm up first and cool down afterwards may increase the chances of suffering an injury, which could potentially lead to problems like osteoarthritis in later life. The joints are the areas that take a huge amount of pressure, along with the muscles, so making sure we take care of those areas is crucial. Warm-up really acts to reduce the stress on those areas, reduce the potential for injury and keep us safe while we’re exercising.
If you are taking up a new sport or a regular attendee to the gym to help you avoid injury here are some top tips from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy on warming up properly.
For Sports-specific warm up advice click on the document below;
Rehabilitation is about enabling and supporting individuals to recover or adjust, to achieve their full potential and to live as full and active lives as possible.
Rehab should start as soon as possible to speed recovery. Research shows it can improve your mobility and activity levels, shorten the amount of time you need to stay in hospital or off work and greatly improve the quality of your life
If you require physiotherapy as part of your rehab, you and your physiotherapist will work together to:
- assess the nature and extent of your problems
- set goals with you, based on what is most important to you
- provide treatment, support and advice
- regularly evaluate how you are progressing
The general aim is to improve your strength and mobility and to find ways around any problems. For example, if you have had a fall, your physiotherapist may recommend some equipment to assist you with walking and an exercise programme to improve your balance and strength.
How can I help myself?
The rehab team will work with you on what is really important to you, so keep them up to date with how you are feeling. You will have exercises to practice by yourself or with friends or family, so do your best to stick with your programme.
If you have any problems with the programme, talk to a member of the team. Rehabilitation can be hard work, so allow for some set-backs as well as progress and chart your successes. Work with your team to get back to the things you enjoy.
Top tips for general rehabilitation
- Plan short-term goals as well as your final target for your rehab
- Follow your rehab programme and pace your activities as you recover
- Share your targets and your set-backs with family and friends to keep your motivation going
- Regularly review progress and targets with your physiotherapist to maintain realistic progress plans