Injury Prevention

 

Sports injuries can be prevented by selecting the right equipment, warming up and cooling down properly, stretching before and after playing, regular sports massage, good nutrition as well as conditioning or strengthening yourself properly to play your chosen sport. Maintaining good flexibility during your season and throughout the off-season will also help prevent injury.  Regular practice of Pilates & Yoga has been proven to reduce the frequency of overuse injuries in athletes.
 
Warm Up
 
Warming up is often overlooked but should be part of your injury prevention routine. A good warm up will:
  •    Increase the temperature of muscles to prepare for sport

  •    Increase blood flow and oxygen to muscles

  •    Increase the speed of nerve impulses - making you faster

  •    Increase range of motion at joints reducing the risk of tearing muscles and ligaments

 
A good warm up will not only help avoid injury but will also improve performance.  A warm up should consist of:
  •  Gentle jog (or other form of pulse raiser) to circulate blood and oxygen supplying the muscles with more energy to work with.

  •  Dynamic or active stretching drills and sport specific exercises

 
Dynamic stretching has now largely replaced static stretching as the warm-up method of choice. They include drills such as running with high knees, heels to bum and cariocas. This should be performed for a minimum of 5 minutes, up to a maximum of 20 minutes, with movements gradually becoming larger and faster. This is preferable to static stretching as it keeps the body warmer and heart rate higher, and more resembles the type of movements which are required in most sports.

 

The warm up should last between 10 and 20 minutes. Do not warm up too early. The benefits are lost after about 30 minutes of inactivity. 

 
Cool Down

This is also sometimes overlooked but can help avoid injuries and boost performance. The aim of the cool down is to:
  •    Gradually lower heart rate

  •    Circulate blood and oxygen to muscles, restoring them to the condition they were in before exercise

  •    Remove waste products such as lactic acid

  •    Reduce the risk of muscle soreness

 
The cool down should consist of a gentle jog followed by light dynamic or static stretching.
 
Injured? Click here for an appointment or for some advice