Sports people have one main priority, to get back to their sport.
My approach is:
- Diagnosis – work out what tissues are injured?
- Prognosis – what it the likely healing time?
- Treatment through muscle balancing, deep tissue manipulation and massage, electrotherapy, acupuncture
- Support – both emotional and practical
Causes of Sports Injuries
Impact: All sports involve movement. Sudden impact takes your nervous system by surprise. Develop resilience with practice or protect your body. Learn to give way. Martial arts teach people to soften and give with impact, absorb the energy. For instance, if you are running and trip or catch a pothole, completely yield to it. Tip: Learn to fall. A yoga teacher Andreas Wren, used to ask when teaching headstands, what is the worst that can happen? Practise it first.
Recovery: Sports place demands on blood sugar, glycogen metabolism, protein and fat synthesis. Plan your refuelling between activity. Mixing carbohydrates and proteins increases muscle glycogen stores. Eat both within 30 minutes of training then if possible every 30 minutes for 2 hours. For training aim for 1.5gm protein for each kg of body weight. Tip: try honey and oatcakes (with butter) for refuelling. Cashew nuts are good for endurance events. Cashews contain a higher proportion of carbohydrate 18g / 100g and good quality proteins
Conditioning: Footballers tend to suffer leg, groin and knee injuries. Yoga is a great way of conditioning. Cyclists suffer from short hip flexors especially psoas muscles. Runners suffer from IT band strain. The IT band is a long tendon from the outer thigh to the shin bone. Tip: remember your legs are designed to work in all directions not simply forwards and backwards. Try gripping a yoga block between your knees, squatting and move around as if you were skiing.
Repetition: Most sports affect one side of the body more than the other. Even running or cycling the same route can set up a bias. Think which side is dominant, if it is the right try thinking left, left left…to engage the left leg. Tip: practice club or racquet sports with the other hand to build muscle and brain co-ordination.
Footwear: we tend to pronate flat feet, or to supinate high arches. Wear good footwear. Tip: work on your one leg balance and grip your toes regularly when you are sitting.
Focus: A narrow focus often misses the wider picture. People and obstacles are coming at you from all directions. Let your mind detach and look at the big picture. Tip: un-focus your eyes and take in your surroundings.
Medication: all medication is a trade-off between benefit and risk. Less pain might lead to unwanted side effects. Tip: take only what you really need.