Category Archives: Sports Injury

What is Sport Therapy?

 

(This is a blog I really should of started with)

Sports Therapy is an aspect of health care that is specifically concerned with injury prevention and rehabilitation of your injury. It helps to get you back to full fitness, regardless of functionality, occupation or fitness concerns, whilst keeping in mind your age and ability.

The principles used incorporate sports science and exercises, in addition to physiological and pathological processes and manual therapy to prepare you for training, competition or daily lifestyle.

Some of the benefits of sport massage:

• Increases muscle flexibility and range of movement

• Prevents injuries

• Re-energises and strengthens your body’s own healing

• Speeds up recovery and improves performance

• Stress relief and relaxation

• Relieves muscle tension and soreness

Who is suitable for Sports therapy?

This is the easiest place to say “ITS NOT JUST FOR SPORTS PEOPLE”. Its for everyone.

Sports therapy, although could be named better, is solely based on improving movement and reducing discomfort, so anyone can benefit from it.

You can be of any age engaged in any type of activity. Some of my clients are people in desk type work. So seated for long periods of time. So if you are active or sedentary, I’m here to help!

Fitness and injury prevention

After effects of training, general soreness, the niggle, stiff muscles are all common and are all easily ignored. However, if these feelings are ignored and you continue training, you are likely to cause minor damage which will eventually stop you from training and hinder your physical development. You can also suffer mental effects from this too. This will in turn change your focus on training i.e. you will train what doesn’t hurt and end up either causing another injury or worsening a current injury by creating an imbalance.

Sport massage is an effective way of maintaining muscle flexibility and muscle condition, which prevents muscle strains. It can also help those minor niggles before they grow into an injury.

Also, with a further look into movement patterns identify what area your body needs to be improved to stop injury in its tracks.

Is your Achilles in pain

Almost all sports will have you walking, running or jumping; if it’s not in the activity itself then it’s included in the warm up. This has the potential to turn into an achilles injury. It is not uncommon for people to think that they have an issue with the achilles tendon. However, it could in fact be a result of a different tissue in the area causing the problem such as a toe flexor or another muscle/tendon in the lower leg such as the tibialis posterior, both of which sit just in front of the achilles.

Achilles tendinopathy comes in two different types: mid portion tendinopathy or insertional tendinopathy. The difference between the two are simple. The mid portion tendinopathy sits above the attachment of the tendon. The Insertional tendinopathy sits at the calcaneus.

Tendinopathy can be caused by a number of different factors.

  • Corticosteroids    
  • Hyperthermia
  • Mechanical Stress

If we look at the causes of both types of an achilles injuries from a mechanical stress point of view, we get slightly different results. The research shows that mid portion tendinopathy is related to repetitive loading the weight being applied to the tendon is too much and causes tissue damage. Insertional tendinopathy is related to the compression of the tendon against the Calcaneus – the compression occurs when the foot moves into dorsiflexion.  

There are 3 basic stages of tendinopathy, which are:

  • Reactive
  • Tendon disrepair
  • Degenerative

The movement through these stages is not necessarily straightforward. It can move from reactive to degenerative and back again dependant on the loading placed on the tendon.

In the reactive stage, we see a thickening and stiffening of the tendon in a response to the load in an attempt to cope with it and reduce the stress. In this stage the load has often been increased too quickly for the tendon to deal with. However, with rest and a reduction in the load, healing will allow occur.

The degenerative stage happens with chronic overloading and is usually more common in the older athlete. In this stage we see further breakdown in the structure of the tendon and this is accompanied by cell death. In this state if it is left unresolved, it can result in tendon rupture.
When it comes to managing and treating this type of injury, in all stages it comes down to managing the load placed on the tendon. In the reactive and early disrepair stages we simply want to reduce the stress that is causing the issue, by catching it fast enough and simply allowing it time to calm down.

Preventing running injuries

Why we love running so much

For my first blog, I wanted to tackle running. It’s the sport with injuries that come up most frequently in the clinic. So why do so many of us love it so much? Are we built to run? Have you ever sat down and thought of what running actually is?

I am sitting in Brendan Chaplin’s class – a strength and conditioning mentor – and asking myself all these questions. Running is, in my mind, one of England’s biggest fitness crazes. People use running to accomplish great feats of distance, competition and a free source of travelling.

So I found myself thinking back to the beginning. Running for us Homosapiens is one of our most basic forms of movement. We use it to track and hunt food. Through time, running eventually became a sport, around 2,700 years ago. To honour Zeus, men would compete by sprinting from one side of the arena to the other.

After time we come to the invention of ‘jogging,’ which came about in the 16th century. Nobles would wear amour into battle and find jogging was easier and could conserve more energy.

So there is much more history to running than we might first expect. We used running to hunt, then to compete. But let’s not forget we can also use running to bet on. So, how did social running begin?

Social running or running training for long distances didn’t really come together until the legendary “Arthur Lydiad”. He created the first social jogging club 40 years ago in New Zealand who inspired people to run and introduced the ‘base training’ phase that runners use today in their training program.

Physiological requirements

In the past 30 years of marathon running, the infamous performance-limiting phenomenon known as “hitting the wall” affects 1-2% of those who race. According to sport scientist, Rapoport (2010), there are variable physiological energy constraints that provide a predictable measurement for when this will effect individual runners.

An example of the measurements include muscle mass distribution, liver and muscle densities and running speed. So if it is your first time racing and one of your concerns is “hitting the wall,” all you really have to consider is eating well and make sure you find a comfortable pace and sticking to it.

Movement analysis

Running is a pure unidirectional movement. The main muscles specifically involved with the impact and movement are your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus, illiacus and psoas major.

So what causes injury?

It is well known that marathons causes injuries especially for people doing it for the first time.

As we have seen the hunting and speed style of the past might carry over into how we react ad move today and we can relate this to our body structure. However, another sports scientist, Burnfoot (2014), found that first time marathon runners don’t suffer form knee damage due to repetitive use. Germany’s Freiburg university hospital measured the runners cartilage before the start of their training program and immediately after their first marathon and found that there was no depletion in the cartilage. So this research shows that the structure of the body is not the problem.

So we know that there isn’t a fault in the human body, but what else could it be? Let’s say you run step by step, over and over again, covering 20 – 80 miles in a week. What could go wrong? Well if that first step is wrong and putting unnecessary strain on your body, guess what happens when you do that step 100 to 1000 of times over and over? This is how niggles develop. So lets start by getting that first step right. We can do that through specific strength training – which we’ll get to grips with in my next post – so don’t forget to follow my blog to get the updates.

In the meantime, if you are suffering from any running related injuries and want to get them sorted then book up a consultation, or let me know your experiences in the comments below.

Welcome

Welcome to my blog and thanks for finding the time to read it.

My name is Tom, I am a sports therapist I work and run a clinic in south east London.

A lot of people and professionals believe that sports therapy is just for rehabilitation. So I want to show what my industry can do and how it can be applied to you in a multitude of ways, whether it’s prevention or pre-event, inter-event or post-event massage, and what to expect and why. I’ll also take a look at what the therapist hopes to achieve by these treatments and exercises.

My main goal is to introduce you to an awareness of your body. This will include a little bit of my own philosophy of movement and healthy living, backed with a lot of research. My passion lies in what I do and I wish to share that with you.

How? What? When and why? I find myself exploring these questions every day in every treatment. It makes me want to take every article, and then right back to where this question first became a question – the genesis – because only then, do I believe the right answers can be found.

There’s lots of information on how to prevent injuries from occurring and I’ll explore some helpful tips on how to exercise and what to expect if you do get injured. And if you don’t do sport – well, that’s fine too. While practising, I’ve found that injuries can occur in all circumstances: the office or just day to day lifestyle. Being an avid sportsman, I know how to overcome many injuries and address how they occur from my own personal experience. In fact, if I had to list all of the injuries I’ve had, the list would probably shock you (one of the reasons I became a sports therapist).

I want to make sure that everything I write can be applied to your situation. So if you want me to talk about ideas on how sports therapy can be applied to a sport, or concerns on a general injury, then leave a comment or better yet contact me!

My main aim is to improve myself, and in doing so share that with you and improve your life, so if you want to leave positive comments or constructive criticism I really appreciate because only then I can improve and I can tailor my article to what you are looking for.