What can you do when taking part in the sport you love keeps resulting in the same injury? It’s a sad situation faced by athletes the world over, both professional and recreational. The reality is that playing sport places stresses on the body, and often the repeated movements involved will put more strain on one particular musculoskeletal area than it can handle. Fortunately, it’s possible to overcome even some of the most persistent recurring sporting injuries. Below is a 10-step method for doing just that.
OK, we’re starting with the most drastic step first. But if your specialist advises you that an operation is the only way to prevent your sporting injury from getting worse, possibly putting you out of the sport for good, then you really should consider it. At the same time, remember that it’s fine to get a second (or third) medical opinion before taking such a big step.
Rest and Recovery
After the latest recurrence of your injury, it’s vital you give your body time away from the usual sporting routine of training and playing to be able to repair itself. Perhaps the reason you are repeatedly suffering the same problem is you’re not resting long enough before returning to peak activity. A qualified physiotherapist can advise you on what constitutes a sufficient recovery period for your specific complaint, remembering that this period will almost certainly be divided into phases – you won’t suddenly go from minimal activity back to maximum!
Following directly on from the previous point, it’s usually sensible to resume your formal training with low-impact activities, leaving out any exercise which could put undue stress on the area of your injury.
As already stated, a qualified physiotherapist can advise you on the necessary amount of recovery. They can give you an individually tailored exercise program to follow. They can massage the problem area. And they can also provide expert input when it comes to the following four points…
Analyse Your Schedule
If you keep hurting yourself playing your favourite sport, maybe you are playing it too often or at a level unrealistic for your age/ability/lifestyle. Analyse your weekly schedule and be brutally honest with yourself – are you overtraining? Are you undertraining? Are work and/or other commitments hampering your performance and putting you at risk? Make the necessary changes! Better to cut back on training sessions or drop down in grade than injure yourself so badly you must retire.
Analyse Your Technique
Coaches and trusted teammates can help here, along with your physiotherapist. Is your actual technique doing you harm? Perhaps you could cope with the strain when younger but not anymore. It’s all right for aging fast bowlers to drop back to medium-pacers. Or older golfers to modify their swings. And so on and so forth. On the positive side, having a professional refine your technique could lead to better performances than ever before!
Analyse Your Equipment
Are you using outdated exercise or sporting equipment that requires replacing? Is there additional protective gear, e.g. a knee guard, you could be wearing when training/playing? This analysis could even be extended to things like your current choice of post-activity recovery foods.
Analyse Your Warm-Up/Warm-Down
Pretty self-explanatory. Could you be doing more of either?
Strengthen the Area
Another department where employing the services of a qualified physiotherapist is crucial. Many musculoskeletal injuries occur because of bodily imbalances. Your physio will guide you in both strengthening your vulnerable area and achieving a greater overall body balance as far as strength, endurance and flexibility.
Negative thoughts never helped anyone deal with an injury. Trust in the process, as well as the knowledge and experience of those, like your physio, who are committed to working with you every step of the way. Athletes around the world rehab injuries every day – and often come back stronger than before.
Fix that Recurring Sports Injury for Good!
The team at Glenhaven Physiotherapy has been providing high-quality, patient-focused therapy to Glenhaven and surrounding Sydney suburbs since 1991. We pride ourselves on professional development and always stay up to date with the latest advancements. Contact us by phoning (02) 9680 4960 or using the enquiry form on this site.