Injury Prevention

Through my Partnership with Wokingham and Embrook Football Club i am writing a series of blogs to help the players, parents and coaches. As we enter autumn injury the pitches become heavier and the games come thick and fast. Injury prevention needs to be at the forefront of all coaches and players minds.

The nature of sport means injuries may happen, but at ngphysiotherapy we feel prevention and minimising risk is essential to anyone who is serious about their sport or hobbies.

Key principles behind injury prevention are:

1. Warm up appropriately; build from gentle to more vigorous dynamic movements, prolonged static stretches followed by ball skills to tune in our nervous system.

2. Cool down; hydrate, replenish fluids and electrolytes and stretch each many body part for at least 30 seconds

3. Diet and hydration; crucial to recovery, the bodies ability to heal and be able to function at the required level to exertion.

3. Diet and hydration; crucial to recovery, the bodies ability to heal and be able to function at the required level to exertion.

4. Rest; Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), is part and parcel of exercise and it is important to ensure practice acid (a byproduct of muscle contractions) if flushed out and the natural muscle status is regained. Injury risk improves 30% by having 2 rest days per week, rather than 1.

5. Stability and balance; whilst common opinion is to be strong to exercise, mid season we shouldn’t be looking at getting stronger – that’s what preseason was for. Now we need to maintain strength with high load low reps to ensure all our muscle fibre units stay active without the lactic acid mentioned earlier. Our main focus needs to be on maintaining high levels of lower limb balance, stability and control. This will significantly reduce the risk of ligament na muscle related injuries. Such exercises include – Star Excurion Balance Test: standing on one leg, reaching the other as if standing on a clock face – single leg squats – Palloff press: lunges with a band anchored to the side and controlling its pull – planks – forwards and sideways – lateral hips over 2 line 40cm apart aim for 52 in 30 seconds – side lunges keeping shin vertical Doing these exercises twice a week to gain or maintain conditioning will reduce injury risk mid season allowing you to enjoy your sport and exercise.

Unfortunately, there is an inherent risk of injury with any sport or exercise. At NGphysiotherapy we have a wealth of knowledge with sports rehabilitation and injury prevention so please do not hesitate to call or book if you have and concerns or injuries

I hope you will never need our services but we are here to help

How did you spend your weekend? Did it hurt? Mine did!

As I write this I am aching top to toe, but that’s ok, it normal. This weekend, some friends and myself completed a Tough Mudder event. 10 miles of running broken up by 25 obstacles aimed at testing the mind and body whilst getting muddier and wetter than I’ve ever been before. It was great fun climbing over walls, swimming under obstacles and even running through an electrified gauntlet. However at times I was pushing my body to the limit. Mostly it was my right knee complaining – it was killing me. One of the benefits of being a physio was I knew not to be concerned. Pain does not always mean harm. I was running on uneven hilly terrain slipping all over the place. I was working my body harder than it was used to. Pain was a guide to say ‘hello, you’re working at your limit’. I was still able to run and climb and had full movement, there was no injury. So my point is to show that it’s important to listen to what our bodies are telling us but to evaluate the messages in the context of what you are doing and what you have trained for. Now, two days after the event, and I have DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) badly! Sit to stand, walking, doing the stairs and even getting out of bed are a challenge today. DOMS is a normal side effect of exercise. The harder you push the more you will get, it will continue to increase until day 3. During this time it’s vital to keep moving, maybe a light bike ride or swim, stay hydrated and gently stretch. I need to flush out all the lactic acid, a by-product of muscle contraction, to normalise the chemical balance within my muscles. It will pass, it is not an injury. I can then get back to training – but I have yet to decide what the next crazy adventure is. If you have exercised harder than normal, or done an event that pushed you to your limits, I hope reading my experience will put help you reason through your aches and pains. But remember it should resolve, at least within the week. If your problems and niggles haven’t improved maybe you have done more damage than I did, and need some professional input. Here at NGphysiotherapy we can assess and advise on what you should do, and what strength and conditioning to move forward with ready for your next challenge, so you can be the best version of you.

Wokingham and Emmbrook Football Club

It’s a great honour to be in Partnership with Wokingham and Embrook FC and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the first team and backroom staff during their fantastic 2-0 win under flood lights on Friday night at Lowther Road. I will do my best to get out and meet more teams in the coming months. I hope my physiotherapy services, advice and education reaches all teams of all ages to prevent injury, or maximise rehabilitation in the event of an injury. As such I will be releasing blogs during the season on injury prevention, what to do pitch side and in the first hours after injury, and information on the most common football related injury. All players and staff will be entitled to an exclusive discount for Physiotherapy Assessment and Treatment at NG Physiotherapy, based out of Woosehill Medical Centre.

Tennis Elbow

Wimbledon is upon us and naturally we all swarm to the Tennis court but fear not, tennis elbow is rarely caused by playing Tennis.

Symptoms of tennis elbow or lateral epicondyalgia, to give it its proper name, will present as pain with gripping, lifting the kettle or too much work at the computer. Lateral epicondyalgia is the most common cause of elbow pain symptoms but can be effectively resolved with Physiotherapy.
Typically Tennis Elbow is caused by an overload of the tendon that attaches the forearm muscles to the elbow joint causing pain with wrist extension and gripping. Through modification of this load, symptoms will improve. Simple advice such lifting a bag with your palm facing up and changing to a vertical mouse can help in reducing the load and thus decrease pain around the elbow.

Whilst reducing load will improve symptoms, interestingly the way we treat tendon related injuries is to expose it to load. However, this needs to be a controlled load, in a controlled way, depending on the severity of the injury. Physiotherapy has been proven to help manage the pain, guide you through an effective exercise loading programme and restore normal function and activity, maybe even to play Tennis.

If Tennis Elbow, or indeed any other musculoskeletal problems are effecting your daily or leisure activities and quality of life please do not hesitate to get in touch to see if I can help.