For those of us who partake in various sporting activities, it may seem like an injury every now and then is inevitable – however, what if we told you that this doesn’t have to be the case?
According to a new large-scale study, one-third of those who have experienced a sports-related injury report long-term effects, highlighting that prevention is definitely better than cure.
At Morley Chiropractic Clinic, we regularly see a number of patients with sports-related injuries such as shin splints; in this article, we’ll discuss our top tips for preventing these, including taking time to rest, performing adequate warmups, and staying hydrated.
Take time to rest
We know it can be tempting to power through just one more workout when you’re feeling tired – after all, that’s how you see results, right?
Not necessarily! If your body is sending you physical cues that it needs to rest such as lightheadedness, extreme fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, you’re better off listening and taking time to rest.
Ignoring these signals means your technique is likely compromised and your muscles are tired, meaning you’re much more likely to become injured.
Don’t underestimate the power of a warmup
Some people would argue that a warmup eats into valuable time that could be spent playing sports, however, it’s an essential part of preventing injuries.
The NHS states that a warm-up for light physical activity should take around 10 minutes involving light aerobic activity and some dynamic stretching movements appropriate for the activity you’re about to perform.
This prepares your body for the sport you’re about to partake in and helps to avoid injury.
If you’re someone who regularly suffers from muscle cramps while exercising, this could actually be due to dehydration.
Maintaining proper hydration before, during, and after exercise helps support optimal muscle function and prevent cramping-related injuries.
Address previous injuries
If you’ve had prior sports injuries, you’ll know how debilitating (and painful!) they can be. That’s why it’s vital to take the necessary steps to fully rehabilitate and strengthen the affected area before returning to your sport.
Ignoring old injuries increases the likelihood of re-injury and it’s simply not worth the risk. A professional chiropractor, for example, can identify the cause and help treat any injuries. They can also suggest ways of self-treatment to reduce the re-occurrence of the same injury.
How Can a Chiropractor Help with Sports Injuries?
One of the first assessments a chiropractor is likely to carry out on an athlete will be an analysis of the spine. It would then be decided whether spinal manipulation would be necessary. If so, the injured joints will be treated to release pressure and help align the muscles so that they can perform in their natural way. Don’t worry if you hear any cracking sounds, this is simply the sound of trapped air between the joints.
Post-spinal assessment, if the chiropractor discovers that more care is needed in the treatment, then spinal mobilisation techniques are more likely to be used. These techniques could involve equipment such as foam rollers, or light stretches to reduce pressure and tension. Stretches and tension-relieving equipment aren’t limited to spinal correction however, as there are plenty of exercises that can be done for muscle injuries in the quads, calves and shoulders too; these are often used in the ongoing rehabilitation of an athlete on their road to recovery.
At Morley Chiropractic Clinic, we are registered with the British Chiropractic Association, Royal College of Chiropractors, and General Chiropractic Council so you can be sure you’re getting high-quality care from a team of compassionate experts.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you prevent sports injuries, get in touch with the team today.