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Injury Prevention in Athletes, Runners and Gym Enthusiasts

Key Areas to Target to Reduce Risk of Injury from Performing High Impact Exercise Regularly

• Core Strength and Stability
• All over Balanced Body Strength
• Deep Tissue Massage
• Physiotherapy
• Adequate Nervous System Mobility
• Postural Stances During Exercise Performance
• Adequate Rest including Active Recovery

The repetitive nature of performing regular high impact exercise puts the body at risk of overuse injuries. This risk is elevated if you already have imbalances in your muscles, biomechanics, core stability, training regime and footwear.

Core Strength and Stability
These are two different things. You can have a strong abdominal wall but still have poor trunk/core stability if you haven’t learnt how to activate the muscle patterns effectively. High impact training such as running, circuits, even Zumba causes a force x5 your body weight to be transferred from your foot up your leg to the spine every time your foot impacts the ground. Having a strong stable core minimises these shock waves that travel up the leg to the spine.
To build core stability and reduce stresses put on the spine and limbs during exercise you need to perform core strengthening exercises taught by a Physiotherapist or Level 3 qualified Personal Trainer who will focus on your technique and muscle activation patterns.

Balanced Body Strength
If both or either muscle strength or flexibility are neglected muscle imbalances will develop which can lead to soft tissue breakdown and scar tissue accumulation. Improving all over body strength and flexibility will improve the performance and technique of your running or aerobics workout. You should aim to do an all over body strengthening programme x1/2 a week.

Deep Tissue Massage
Aids the removal of waste chemicals (eg lactic acid) that build up in the muscle during and after exercise, breaks down scar tissue from inefficient remodelling of muscle fibres and increases the blood flow and therefore flow of nutrients and waste products to and from the muscles. When performed regularly (every 2/4 wks) it is highly effective in preventing overuse injuries from developing and improves healing.

A Holistic body overview Physiotherapy assessment will identify any imbalances in your posture, muscles, biomechanics, training regime, neural mobility, spine and joints and they will then provide you with expert advice and treatment to deal with any potential risk of injury before, during or after it has been sustained.

Adequate Nervous System Mobility
Nerves are not flexible and can’t be stretched. They move by sliding up and down within a tube like sheath. Their mobility can be hindered by being compressed due to tight muscles, stiff joints and inefficient movement patterns. This can lead to the development of nerve pain either due to nerve tissue compression or inflammation from friction on the nerve. This can only be picked up through specialised Physiotherapy nerve mobility tests.

Postural Stances During Exercise Performance
If your running or aerobics class posture is mal-aligned you will be putting undue stress and strain throughout the body but in particular the spine and low back, increasing the risk of a back injury.

Adequate Rest including Active Rest
After exercise the body needs time to recover from the stresses and strains of the exercise. The muscles need time to remodel and relax. Insufficient rest can lead to the adverse breakdown of muscle tissue and scar tissue formation. The rest doesn’t mean that you have to do nothing, just something with less impact and intensity like swimming, walking or aqua jogging.

Should you require any further advice please don’t hesitate to contact any of our Senior Physiotherapists

Emma McArthur
Clinic Director and Lead Physiotherapist
Restore and Rebalance Physiotherapy Clinic

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