Our aim at St Kilda Physiotherapy is to restore pain free movement, function and strength when at home, work and playing sport.
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Preventing Injuries

Preventing Injuries

The only negative about playing sport and exercising is the chance of injury. What can we do to minimise this chance? This also applies to people who are active at their place of work.

A proper warm up is a good place to start. Many injuries occur to muscles and joints which are cold-early in a game or early in the day. Hopping on an exercise bike for 10 minutes, walking or jogging for 5-10 minutes and you will have warmed up.

Stretching is another thing that is an important factor. Tight, restricted joints and muscles do injure easier so leg, arm, back and neck exercises are easy to do and effective. Depending on the sport or type of work you do, taping or bracing may be recommended. An example is ankle taping which is routinely used for many sports. This practise has dramatically decreased the occurrence of ankle sprains since its introduction. Another example is a back brace for an individual who carries out heavy lifting at work or lifting barbells at the gym.

If you are a serious sports person or even just a sports enthusiast, good technique is very important. The more you do something with incorrect technique, the greater the chance of injuring yourself. A bit of coaching is a good thing as is some homework on your part.

Suitable equipment is also an important part of injury prevention. If you are a runner, the correct shoe for your feet is important. Most retail outlets are excellent at advising you of correct footwear, and some have podiatrists that can professionally advise you. For tennis players the right tennis racquet is important. The grip can’t be too big or small, and again advice should be given at the time of your purchase.

Since most sports involve some sort of running, an appropriate surface is important in injury prevention. Uneven, soft terrain invites injuries to ankles and knees. The best surface is an even one with a bit of cushioning.

Appropriate training involves gradually increasing the intensity and allowing time for recovery. This is very important in order to avoid overuse injuries. All too often people present injuries caused by an increase in running distances too quickly or not allowing enough rest in between running. The human body is not a machine and therefore it needs to regenerate following vigorous exercise. Getting advice on how to progress exercise is important. You can either consult a professional or investigate over the internet. If you want to exercise often and vigorously some homework is needed.

Finally, eating well and psychological preparation is important. It goes without saying that the fuel used to exercise is provided by what we eat, as does the ability to put on muscle that gives us strength and speed. Being prepared mentally, particularly in contact sports will prevent injury. Being aware of your surrounds and having the correct level of arousal means you can escape potentially dangerous situations.

So if you like your sports, particularly the higher risk ones, make sure you are prepared and hopefully you will not have many injuries.

Good luck and enjoy!