Sports activities are a regular way of life for many people these days. All age groups participate, from the elite professional to the casual participant, from those with a keen interest to those who just wish to keep fit.
Many of the injuries experienced are the result of over-use i.e. playing too hard or too often e.g. tennis elbow, biceps tendinitis, or from not warming up properly beforehand or warming down after exercise.
Sometimes incorrect equipment can lead to injuries as well and ill-fitting footwear can cause hip, knee and foot injuries, e.g. Achilles 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, golfers who cannot turn at the waist as well as they used to and the enthusiastic older footballers whose knees do not bend as they once did.
Young people are especially vulnerable in sport as their growing bodies are often expected to perform to a high standard, putting exceptional physical demands on them.
How can Osteopathy help?
An osteopath can help improve performance as well as treat the injuries sustained.
By using their knowledge of diagnosis and highly developed palpatory skills they can help to restore structural balance, improve joint mobility and reduce adhesions and soft tissue restrictions so that ease of movement is restored and performance is enhanced.
For those who wish to keep fit, an osteopath can help keep the body 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.
- Begin slowly and build up, especially after an injury.
- Warm up first and warm down with stretches afterwards.
- Drink plenty of water when exercising.
- Exercise regularly and try to alternate the types of exercise you do every day.
- Following a joint injury apply ice to the area for 10 minutes, every hour, if possible.