You may commonly associate the phrase 'no pain, no gain' with being physically active. However, the adage isn't necessarily true for people participating in sports and trying to stay active. Our Manotick physiotherapists explain how sports physiotherapy can help treat acute or progressive injuries.
Exercising or participating in sports, whether that entails curling, playing hockey or soccer, running or lifting weights, also brings some risk of injury. Playing sports requires us to make repeated and strenuous movements, which increases our risk of sustaining an acute or progressive injury.
There are many strategies available to help mitigate these injuries. To give yourself the best chance at avoiding pain, discomfort and setbacks in your performance, we recommend consulting with a physiotherapist on our team at Manotick PhysioWorks.
In this post, we'll share some examples of the advice you'll likely receive if you work with our physiotherapy team to help manage pain, recover from injuries and maintain your whole-body well-being.
Warm Up & Cool Down
We recommend beginning and ending every workout with dedicated periods of light exercise to warm up and cool down your body.
As you warm up, you'll give your body the opportunity to ease into activity as it adjusts to strenuous activity. Your heart rate will gradually increase and your muscles and joints will loosen. During the cool-down period, your heart rate will regulate itself back to its normal rate and your muscles gradually adjust to no longer performing strenuous activity.
Jumping rope, light jogging, stretching and riding an exercise bike are all common warm-up and cool-down activities recommended by our physiotherapists.
Ease Into It
Any time you start or return to a sport or workout routine, be sure to start slowly. Don't push yourself too hard at first. While you might have the urge to leap into action and push your limits immediately (especially if you've been on the sidelines for a while), this can increase your risk for a season-ending injury.
Instead, work on gradually building the intensity and duration of your activity. Many acute injuries that people sustain while playing sports results from pushing themselves too hard, too fast.
Your ability to challenge yourself to play or exercise longer will reach new limits as your fitness increases. This applies both to starting an activity for the first time and returning to a workout routine or sport after recovering from an injury. If you attempt to push yourself to the level that you were used to before your injury right away, you'll likely to reinjure yourself.
Just as you should refrain from pushing yourself too hard, be careful not to overwork specific muscles by performing a single activity for too long. Repeating muscle movements too often without taking time to rest can lead to consistent overuse of those muscles, which may lead to injuries such as tendonitis.
To avoid this, vary your daily workouts to target different muscles. While the specifics of your routine will vary depending on your individual needs and preferences, your physiotherapist can work with you to determine the type of cross-training and workout planning that will work best for you.
Understand Your Trouble Spots
When planning workouts, always consider which areas of your body are "problem areas". These may include muscles that were injured previously and will still need time to rest, or weak areas in need of strengthening.
While you may be able to identify which part of your body hurts or feels weaker than others, always ask your physiotherapist about targeting workouts to the parts of your body that seem to be causing trouble. A physiotherapist will be able to help define your issues and plan exercises to help you strengthen weak parts of your body, as well as the areas that support them to help alleviate pain and discomfort and prevent injury.
Sports Physiotherapy in Manotick
At Manotick PhysioWorks, our team of physiotherapists are able to help to alleviate the pain and speed the healing of a sports injury in addition to strengthening your body and improving your exercise form to help prevent future incidents and injuries.
If you have suffered from an acute workout injury, the first step will always be to control any swelling pain, often including icing, resting, compression and elevation of the injury. The dissipation of the pain, however, doesn't mean that your injury is healed.
If your injury is not properly retrained and rehabilitated, you will be at risk of your injury reoccurring or leading to a new one altogether. Our Manotick physiotherapists are able to provide you with individualized treatment programs which will help your injury to heal and you to safely regain your strength and mobility.
Some of the treatments we offer include:
- Manual Therapy
- Ultrasound or electrical stimulation machines (TENS, interferential current for pain and inflammation, along with muscle stimulation for strengthening)
- Acupuncture for pain and inflammation
- Therapeutic exercise programs for strength, mobility, flexibility or coordination