Preventing Injuries/ Prehabilitation strategies
Sports activities are a regular way of life for many of us now, and involve people from across all age groups from those who have an avid interest to those who just wish to keep fit; from the elite professional to the weekend warrior. Many of the injuries are the result of overuse i.e. playing too hard and too often e.g. tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and biceps tendinitis, or from not preparing to undertake the activities that will be undertaken during the sporting activity.
Sometimes poor technique, structural abnormalities or incorrect equipment can lead to injuries. Reduced joint flexibility will affect the degree of performance and may result in injury if the player is unaware that they cannot perform to the same level as they used to, for example golfers who cannot turn at the waist as well as they used to, and the over forties footballer whose hips or ankles do not move as well as they once did.
Tony often will see a patient such as a GAA player with a pulled hamstring from kicking a ball in the same way as he has been kicking a thousand times before. Similarly he may see a tennis player with a strained shoulder from a serve that has been used many times over numerous sets. In these cases it may not be the running, kicking or service wind up that directly causes the injury. Perhaps a previously undetected joint problem, or years of poor posture habits are the underlying cause. It is worth considering that repeated stresses on the body can lead to a slight loss of proper movement patterns. This may be due to pain that has been ignored while participation in exercise continues without appropriate treatment.
Young people especially are vulnerable in sport as their growing bodies are often expected to perform to high standards and are putting exceptional physical demands on themselves. Many find that a plateau in sporting performance is reached, and that improving beyond this point proves difficult regardless of the effort put in. This is why many serious sports people consult an osteopath, and ultimately the reason for the inclusion of osteopaths in all elite medical teams whatever the sport.
How Swords Osteopaths can help
An osteopath can help improve performance as well as treat the injuries being suffered.
By using their knowledge of diagnosis and highly developed palpatory skills they can help to restore structural balance, improve joint mobility and reduce adhesions and soft tissue restrictions so that ease of movement is restored and performance enhanced. Tony’s unique experience of osteopathic treatment, sports injuries and sports people both elite and recreational is ideal for diagnosing and finding solutions to restrictions in sporting performances.
For those of you wishing to keep fit, the osteopath can help you keep supple and improve muscle tone so reducing the risk of injury to soft tissues unaccustomed to the extra work they are being asked to do. Advice on diet and exercise which will help you with your specific sport may also be offered.
At Swords Osteopaths a thorough biomechanical analysis is undertaken on every patient. Many running injuries have been assessed on the treadmill and solutions provided to return the athlete to activity as soon possible successfully. Having undertaken training in the biomechanics of running and walking, Tony has overseen the return of a host of runners to training pre marathon or triathlon event, and has definitely seen an increase in patient levels participating in such activities during the recent past.
Every Patient presenting at Swords Osteopaths is posturally assessed. The occupations, sports and daily activities engaged in by people can greatly affect their postures. Having assessed thousands of patients postures Tony is very well qualified to diagnose postural abnormalities when they present. A major part of any session is advising patients regarding such abnormalities and prescribing strategies to help the dysfunctions that may arise from them.
Rehabilitation post Surgery
Working with elite soccer players on a daily basis has given Tony the tools to rehabilitate and return many players back to full activities post surgery. He has rehabilitated patients following cervical/ Lumbosacral spinal surgeries as well as shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle and foot surgeries. Treatment plans are formulated and worked through with the patient should they require such help in their return to full activities.