Participation in athletic activities of all kinds, at all ages, is at an all-time high. Accordingly, sports injuries are also on the rise. However, many injuries can be avoided. To help prevent injuries, Osteopaths have begun to employ what they call “Prehabilitation” strategies.
Prehabilitation is essentially preventive training to stop the problem before it happens.
Consult your Osteopath before starting any exercise or sports program. A proper evaluation can spot potential problems and correct weaknesses that may be worsened by starting a sports program. Previous injuries can result in chronic problems if they have not been properly rehabilitated. Ideally, a pre-season physical should take place within 6 weeks of the start of the season.
Most sports require a balance of strength, agility, flexibility, co-ordination and endurance. Prehab should address these areas as well as provide instruction to improve overall technique.
Here are some tips for avoiding a sports injury:
- Warm up and stretch before you start, a good warm up should last 15 – 20 minutes.
- Get in shape before starting a new activity or sport. Be in shape when you start, don’t expect your sport to get you in shape. Follow an off season conditioning program that is sport specific, that is, one that is designed for your sport.
- Use proper form. Good form increases efficiency and prevents overuse injury.
- Hydrate, adequate fluid intake is essential for athletes and all sports participants before, during and after exercise.
- Don’t overdo it, the whole idea of no pain no gain is obsolete, listen to your body and watch for signs of fatigue. When you’re feeling down, ease off.
- Cross train when possible, exercise routines should not only concentrate on strength, but should include elements of cardiovascular training as well as balance and coordination conditioning. Mixing routines and workouts allows for an increased number of muscles and positions to be used and again can prevent overuse injuries.