Treating injuries is a big part of physiotherapy, however preventing injuries is way more important. This is often an overlooked area of an exercise routine.
At iDPOET I try and encourage our athletes to visit the clinic for a check-up at least every six months. Here I go through the body top to toe examining range of motion, strenght and postural alignment. Discovering reduced range of motion, reduced strenght or postural abnomalities and working with the athletes to correct these, is in my opinion a great tool for reducing the risk of injury. Working with three areas athletes are themselves able to reduce the risk of injury.
Great flexibility is not required to reduce risk of injury, however reduced ROM (range of motion) outside of the norm is in multiple studies associated with an increased risk of injury. Measuring current ROM precisely and adhering to a scientifically backed stretching routine should provide results. What is important to stick to when stretching is:
- time in each stretch 45-60sec
- number of reps in each stretch 4-6
- static and dynamic stretching
- measuring progress
The single most overlooked area of exercise which can provide huge benefits not only in injury prevention, but for many athletes the benefits provided by this type of training could also boost performance thru better balance and control. Working on body awareness improves the ability to actually feel what is going on in the body, it is stress reducing, anxiety reducing and often improves balance and posture. You can work with your body awareness in multiple ways, pilates, yoga, BBAT, meditation.
Power to weight ratio is a determining factor in most types of sport, this sadly does not make most athletes reach for the weights each week. Bone density and ligament thickness is also shown not to always change in a regular running routine. Strenght training can also be designed to meet the requirements of your sport, do you need more mucle mass (hypertrophy), faster muscle reponse ( RFD – rate of force development) or do we need to maximise how much of your muscles you are able to actually contract (MVC – maximum voluntary contraction). A classic example is runners with less that optimal strenght in gluteus medius resulting in an inability to neutrally stabilise the pelvis during midstance on longer/harder runs, eventually leading to knee pain.
Make sure you hit the gym with a clear goal for your strenght training to reap the benefits you need.
Risk factors for lower extremity injury: a review of the literature https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/37/1/13
Træning i forebyggelse, behandling og rehabilitering, 2016
Basisbog i fysioterapi, 2016