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Most Common Sporting injuries and How to Treat

As an Osteopath with experience working in the London Olympics and London Marathon, I regularly see the demand of sport on the body, especially the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Generally muscle cramps, sprains and aches are experienced regularly either during an extensive run or after. These general injuries can be prevented by taking the time to properly warm up the major muscles of the body.

 

Ankle Sprains

This injury is very common amongst runners and usually occurs due to foot imbalance, which could take the form of eversion or inversion (see diagram). This causes the foot to roll in excessively during the running stride causing mild to severe pain and discomfort depending on the mechanism in which the injury occurred. Ankle sprains are defined by the severity of the sprain; Grade 1 (mild), Grade 2 (moderate) and Grade 3 (severe). With a grade 1 sprain, you may get away with just applying the standard treatment for all acute injuries: RICE, an acronym for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Obviously, a higher grade would require more treatment.

• Rest
• Ice
• Compression
• Elevation

It is vital to commence with conservative treatment, along with lifestyle advice and rest.

If you have had a previous ankle injury, it is best to see an Osteopath or Physiotherapist, as your ankle is weak and more vulnerable to future sprains. In order to prevent this, your health care professional will give you advice on strengthening your ankle to enable you to run confidently.

 

Shin Splints

This term also known as ‘tibial stress syndrome’ refers to a nonspecific pain that occurs in the lower leg during running. Repetitive impact forces during jogging or running often causes shin pain. Shin splint pain can occur in the anterior or posterior aspect of the leg and typically begins at the start of a run but then lessens as running continues.

‘Shin splints’ isn’t really a single medical condition but a term used to describe a symptom rather than a cause. Shin splints are a good indication of an underlying problem.

This term also known as ‘tibial stress syndrome’ refers to a nonspecific pain that occurs in the lower leg during running. Repetitive impact forces during jogging or running often causes shin pain. Shin splint pain can occur in the anterior or posterior aspect of the leg and typically begins at the start of a run but then lessens as running continues.

‘Shin splints’ isn’t really a single medical condition but a term used to describe a symptom rather than a cause. Shin splints are a good indication of an underlying problem.

They might be caused by:

Tibial stress fracture
Overuse which causes irritated and swollen muscles

Excessive foot pronation due to flat feet (reduced plantar arch) causing stretching of the muscles and tendons

If suffering from shin splints the first thing to do is cease running until it causes no pain.

RICE should be applied as soon as possible for 20-30 minutes every 3 or 4 hours until the pain has gone.

Again physical therapy is the best option to provide advice on gait, running, mobilisation treatment, orthotics and the best exercises to strengthen your muscles.

 

Achilles Tendonitis

This is a common sporting injury that causes pain in the back of the heel. The Achilles tendon attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone, and is utilized with all movements of the foot i.e. running, walking and jumping.

Achilles tendonitis refers to inflammation of the tendon often due to overuse/repetitive stress to the tendon. This often happens when we push our bodies to do too much, too soon, without preparation. So take this into account before deciding to commit to a long distance run, as you need an adequate amount of time to prepare your muscles and joints for this strenuous activity.  Having tight calf muscles and suddenly starting an aggressive exercise program can also put extra stress on the Achilles tendon.

Running should be avoided until your therapist says otherwise and a specific treatment plan should be prepared for you.

Ever felt like your body isn’t straight?

Constantly feel like your off balance?

Look in the mirror and noticed that you are leaning to one side or that one shoulder is higher than the other?

Well guess what – there’s a reason.

The majority of postural issues is caused by a misaligned or tilted pelvis which of course attributes to the common complaint of lower back pain as well.

A misaligned pelvis can lead to one hip being higher than the other which in turn can make one leg seem longer.

A misaligned pelvis can also create a lateral curvature in the spine called a scoliosis.

So don’t panic if you have been told or you think you have a scoliosis as usually once the pelvis is realigned this curvature in the spine disappears.

An initial assessment at Physiowell, with either an Osteopath or Chiropractor will determine your postural alignment and create a thorough treatment plan to realign your body and fix your posture.

Book an appointment today or call us to find out more.

 

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