We all know the health benefits of exercise and physical activity, but inactivity remains one of the largest worldwide threats to health and is the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality.
The recent “lockdown” due to COVID-19 has been detrimental to our physical health. We have been spending more hours at home being sedentary which has left us in poorer physical health. As well, our children are demonstrating shocking trends toward increasing levels of obesity and time spent at television and computer screens, rather than participating in healthy levels of physical activity.
The solutions to these problems are within our reach.
Now the Government is easing restrictions, we can get back to our exercise routines so that we can improve our current physical and emotional health. In the long run this will decrease the possibility of incurring an injury or illness.
So how do we best prevent injuries and accidents occurring?
One of the best indicators of future injury is previous injury. If you follow any professional sport you probably notice that some players just seem to be consistently injured. For example, if you roll or sprain your ankle, did you know you are approximately 7 times more likely to sprain your ankle again? So, getting started with an injury prevention program can help save you a lot of trouble in the future.
If you do get injured, treat it properly the first instance to save you trouble in the future. If you are, or have been injured, do not stress too much because you can minimise your risk of re-injury through an appropriate rehab program and ongoing injury prevention strategies. This is especially important for children and teenagers. Injuries experienced at these ages can have a huge impact on future injuries, health and impact their attitudes towards sport and exercise.
Start a new sport or exercise gradually to allow time for your body to:
Increase the necessary mobility or flexibility
Build the required strength and control
Improve endurance to minimise fatigue – do not play a sport to get fit, get fit to play a sport!
Build up your coordination, technique and skill to move efficiently
The level you start at and how quickly you increase your exercise load depends on your previous exercise history, fitness and skill level.
Listen to your body! Minor aches and pains are normal to experience with sport and exercise. But if pain persists longer than expected or starts to impact on your sport, exercise or everyday life then it is important to address the issue early.
This might involve:
Temporarily reducing your training load to give your body time to rest and recover
Beginning a preventive exercise program or prehab
Seeing a Physio to help manage your problem and work out a strategy to prevent it happening again.
It is the job of your Back In Motion Balnarring Physiotherapist to help manage an injury, return you to your previous capacity, and improve the way your body moves to prevent it from happening again.
Rehab may involve:
Restoring muscle length and joint range of motion
Building up strength to support the body
Addressing areas of weakness such as strength, balance, coordination and technique
Advice on injury management and return to sport
Prehab essentially follows the same rules as Rehab but with one key advantage - you do not have to be injured! Prehab involves addressing all the points listed above in order to prevent injury from occurring in the first place. Taking some additional time to focus on mobility and specific exercises related to your sport or exercise can help to minimise risk of injury and improve your performance. A prehab program should differ depending on your sport/exercise, position, age and ability, and should get more challenging as your body adapts and gets stronger.
Unfortunately, there are no known ways to completely avoid injury but there are evidence based strategies that can help to minimise your risk of getting injured AND if you do get injured, reduce injury severity and speed up recovery. Our Back In Motion Balnarring Physios are here to help you back to exercise, avoid injury and keep you moving!
Director and Principle Physiotherapist