What are sports injuries?
When participating in a sport, injuries can happen to anyone, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional athlete. A weekend warrior may not be prepared for the sport they’re about to participate in. A professional athlete may be broken down from the demands of the training schedule and competitiveness of the game.
Here are some common sports injuries we see:
- ankle sprains
- hamstring strains
- groin pulls
- hip flexor strains
- shin splints
- tennis elbow
- knee patellofemoral pain
- overuse shoulder injuries
Since there are a large variety of injuries that can happen during sports, the symptoms and recovery time are highly variable. Also, different people with the same injury may take a different amount of time to recover. The injury can affect your performance when participating in the sport. If it requires time off, it may affect your lifestyle.
If the injury is left untreated, it may lead to a longer recovery time, chronic pain, reduced performance and increased likelihood of recurrence.
What can be done about sports injuries?
The first step to recovery is to apply the POLICE principle. It’s a modernized approach of the classic Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate.
Protection: Initially you want to protect the injury from further damage, but that also doesn’t mean immobilisation. You should still be able to engage in your day to day activities, but limit the amount of movement/load to levels that aren’t stressful to the tissue.
Optimal Loading: You want to be correctly loading the tissues to stimulate healing. For example, you may incorporate some active contractions to help with swelling. Gentle range of motion movements may help prevent stiffness in the joint during recovery. Continuing to load proximal and distal joints may help with reducing muscular atrophy. Optimal loading also means that for certain injuries like severe fractures, you do not want loading through that structure.
Ice: Ice can be used to minimise the swelling, and reduce the acute pain of the injury. The reduction in pain and swelling may allow you to do some of the optimal loading strategies. It is important to note that prolonged use of ice after the acute phase may slow down the healing process.
Compression and Elevation can further help to manage swelling.
How can a Physiotherapist / Chiropractor/ Registered Massage Therapist at Lift Clinic help with sports injuries?
Our clinicians are able to do an in depth assessment to determine what may have caused your sports injury, and also the severity of the injury. This assessment will allow the clinicians to estimate a timeline for your return to sport, and help guide you along the way with an individualized treatment plan. The treatment sessions with the clinicians aim to help you reduce pain and improve function quicker. They will also educate you on ways to balance rest and activity. They can help to determine the optimal load during your stage of recovery, by providing the right dosages of exercise at the right time.
We may also contact coaches or other members of your team to further discuss strategies to reduce the risk of reinjury.
If you’re currently feeling a bit of pain when playing your sport, or feel like a drop in performance, you don’t have to wait for a full blown injury before seeking help. Our clinicians can not only treat injury, but also assess and screen for risks of potential injuries and create plans tailored to minimize risk of injury.
Our goal at Lift Clinic is to help you get back to doing what you need to do and keep you in the game.