Sports Injuries and Performance Enhancement
Sports injuries can be classified broadly into acute injuries, which will include sprains, strains, tears, fractures, dislocations and bruising. The second group are the overuse injuries such as tendinitis, stress fractures and compartment syndromes.
In acute injuries it is very important to treat the affected area of soft tissue in the first 24-48 hours. There is usually associated internal bleeding which results in blood accumulating around the area. This increases swelling and compression of the area and surrounding tissue, which inhibits the healing process by reducing oxygen flow to the damage soft tissues. It will also increase pain and lead to an increase in muscle spasm and disuse of the area.
The best way to deal with this is by RICE: R- Rest, I – Ice, C- Compression, E- Elevation.
Overuse injuries can be caused by any sport or activity that that demands a repetitive action. Microtrauma occurs to the soft tissue or bone and exceeds the body’s own capacity to heal itself. This will normally lead to acute inflammation, which over time causes chronic inflammation and changes to the tissue structure. In overuse injuries it is vital to determine the cause of your problem to effectively treat your condition. Training schedules, equipment and biomechanics and a good history and examination of your pain will help to get to the root of the problem so that effective treatment and rehabilitation can be implemented.
As well as treating injury, we can assess the individual with the aim of improving sports performance. Preventing injury goes hand in hand with improving performance. We are able to assess key movement patterns associated with any given sport and identify whether there is correct movement, alignment and control or areas of restriction. We can identify any weakness in balance and spatial awareness. By giving the individual a safer, more efficient movement technique we can reduce the chances of future injury and improve their performance.