Sports Injury Prevention
Book an appointmentThe principles of treat, train and teach is within the DNA of UPANDRUNNING Sports Medicine Clinic. Founded by Dr Anna Zickerman in 2010, prevention is a key aspect of all our efforts. Sports injuries can traditionally be divided up into traumatic and overuse injuries. An example of a traumatic injury would be a fall and a fracture, whereas an overuse injury might be an achilles tendinopathy in a distance runner. Causation of injuries can also be subdivided into intrinsic factors (body related) and extrinsic factors (equipment/shoes/surfaces etc).In a broader sense we also care for other forms of harm that can befall athletes such as burnout, psychological problems, eating disorders or RED-S (relative energy deficiency syndrome). We are also aware of huge performance pressures on individuals, creating perverse incentives and sadly in some cultures, use of harmful performance enhancing substances.
Reasons for sports injuries:Injuries can often be related to bad luck or indeed by bad technique or dangerous play by the opposition. The rules of the sport should always be adhered to. They are there for a reason, often for injury prevention. However many injuries are preventable by simple measures. A warm up and warm down, adequate hydration and avoidance heat injury during the summer months, or indeed equipment such as a helmet or gum shield, can all contribute to safety in any given sport. Also avoidance of performing or playing through pain or current injury may be vital since one of the most significant predictors of further injury in sport is a pre-existing injury.So for our novice or developing athlete, how might we advise injury avoidance and harm? Well the basic building blocks need to be in place. These include seeking high quality, non exploitative coaching that supports the individual needs and not just the needs and ambitions of the squad. A healthy balanced diet, avoidance of inappropriate use of heavy weights before skeletal maturity and graduated training programs that include proper rest periods and variety. Overreaching can be part of a training cycle but must be followed by adequate rest to allow adaptation at a cellular level.There are many forms of fitness, Speed, Strength and Stamina, Suppleness and Skill which includes agility, co-ordination, balance and reaction times, as well as body composition. Each of these must be adequately conditioned to provide optimal performance and the lowest chance of injury through a technical error, leading to a traumatic injury, or an overuse injury leading to a breakdown in an individual tendon through muscle imbalance or inadequate strengthening.
Screening of the Sports Injury:Screening by our team using specialised technical equipment, or video analysis, can identify biomechanics issues or imbalances that predispose to injury. We all have a 6th sense called proprioception. This sense allows one part of our body to know where another part is in 3 dimensional space. Proprioception can be taught, so that one part of the body becomes more secure in knowing where the other segment is lying and proprioception training has been shown to reduce ACL injuries in knees in at risk individuals for example. Core stability is vital in those with a degree of hypermobility and may prevent dislocations or over use injuries such as anterior knee pain.Much of the role of our Doctors, Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and Chiropracters, as well as our conditioning coaches is based on education and injury prevention. Our physiologists and nutritionalists can also identify any imbalance between energy input and expenditure and also identify a resulting drop in performance. Holistic care is at the core of injury prevention from the novice sports person to the elite.There is little point treating an athlete’s injury or ailment without understanding how it occurred and ensuring that we have done everything possible to prevent recurrence. That is what our clinicians take pride in.