For many of us, exercise is part of our everyday lives and we benefit from it in terms of our general health and well-being. If you are someone who has stopped exercising, perhaps it’s time to revisit your regime, because a sedentary life can put us at greater risk of injury.
Year-round physical activity can help prevent injuries from creeping in. Your body will remain physically conditioned, so you won’t be faced with the risk of developing injuries from jumping straight back into exercise after periods of inactivity. Our role as osteopaths in relation to sports injuries is two-fold: prevention and treatment. Last week, we talked about prevention. This week we’re discussing treatment.
Osteopaths are particularly well suited to helping treat injuries because of our understanding of how the body works as a whole.
It is well worth having an osteopathic assessment if you are involved in sport in order to identify any potential problem areas. By combining our knowledge of what happens in specific sports injuries with the methods of assessment and treatment, we are able to restore structural balance, improve joint mobility and muscular suppleness so that the body’s drive towards recovery can go on smoothly. This includes advice about changes to your diet and exercise that will help you towards a full recovery.In the immediate aftermath of an injury the main aim is to control the body’s inflammatory response.
The best actions immediately after an injury can be remembered with the acronym RICE:
- Rest – Activity at this stage will make the injury more inflamed and could cause more damage.
- Ice – It is very useful to apply an ice pack (frozen peas will do!) wrapped in a tea towel to the area for 10 minutes hourly.
- Compression – Bandaging the injured area will help to reduce the swelling.
- Elevation – This will help drainage and so help to reduce any swelling.
The next steps to take are more specific to exactly what injury you have and will be identified once you are able to make an appointment.
Serious sports injuries such as fractures, complete tears of tendons or ligaments or severe bruising should of course be dealt with by an A&E department of a hospital. However, for more general sports injuries such as sprains, pains, stiff and over-exercised muscles, osteopathy treatment can prove to be both effective and suitable.
Osteopathy treatment for sports injuries would normally include soft tissue manipulation and articulation of the affected area. Together, with a tailored exercise program, an osteopathic approach can aid rehabilitation of many sports injuries that have not responded to other treatments.
If you have any osteopathic or sports injury queries or want to book an appointment with us, please give us a call on 01722 512 043.