Preparing for Spring Sports
As the days get longer and the weather keeps warming up, spring sports season draws near. If you plan on lacing up your soccer cleats or picking up a ball this year, our Nepean physiotherapists also recommend developing a pre-season training regimen so you'll be in shape to compete by the time tryouts roll around or the season kicks off.
Whether you play sports recreationally or at the master level, or simply want to live a fit and healthy lifestyle, sports injuries can happen to anyone and getting injured can present a major obstacle.
Being smart about how you prepare for your season can help you prevent injuries, many of which have sidelined players and caused considerable pain and discomfort. In this post, we'll discuss how to safely prepare for the upcoming sports season, share some sports injury prevention tips and explain how physical therapy can help.
How to Safely Prepare for Your Spring Sports Season
There are a few things you can do to get your body ready for the upcoming spring sports season without raising your risk for injury.
Start training a few weeks in advance.
No matter what your chances are of making the team, you'll need to prepare your body so it's ready for the physical rigors and punishment a season of sports brings. While you may have reduced your physical activity through the winter, jumping into an intense round of tryouts can leave you at risk for an injury unless you train correctly.
We recommend spending time strengthening key muscle groups and engaging in activities that simulate sports movements well before opening day. Schedule 2 to 6 weeks of pre-season training to help prep your body for the season ahead.
Gear up slowly.
Over-stress injuries are some of the most common injuries athletes suffer when they increase their activity levels too quickly after a period of rest or low activity.
That's why it's important to go easy on yourself, listen to your body, and gradually increase your activity levels while continuing your training. Similar to how you'd train for a marathon, slowly increase your distance and build your stamina so you'll have endurance during tryouts or the season opener.
Recognize and treat pain and discomfort.
Stretching and using those muscle groups again may have you feeling a little sore as you adapt to your training regimen. That said, there's a risk of this soreness leading to injury if a muscle becomes overstressed.
Do not attempt to play through pain or injury, as you may end up sidelined for an extended period - potentially the season. Instead, we strongly recommend using rest, ice, heat and/or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. You might also consider staggering your workouts and training sessions to exercise different muscle groups while protecting others.
Inspect your sports gear.
If your cleats, gloves or workout gear have seen better days, it's time for an upgrade. Worn out or unsupportive gear or equipment can malfunction and lead to injuries.
Consider physiotherapy at Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre.
If you'd like to improve your athletic performance, prevent injuries or are in the process of recovering from one, physiotherapy can help.
Part of your pre-season sports injury prevention should always involve visiting a physiotherapist for an injury risk assessment.
Pre and post-season physiotherapy assessments at our clinic in Nepean include a comprehensive examination of how your muscles are balanced to ensure your body is functioning optimally. We can also help with sports injury rehabilitation, by treating both acute and chronic sports injuries with exercises, acupuncture, dry needling, over-the-counter braces and more.
Discuss any previous injuries and your training concerns with your physiotherapist. Together, you can develop an individualized sport-specific exercise program designed to restore proper muscle tension and length in addition to strength and proprioception to reduce your risk of injury and improve overall performance.
Are you wondering how our physiotherapist can help you prevent sports injuries? Let's discuss how we can assist.
We can help develop a physical therapy plan to help you stay healthy and heal from pain.
Welcome to the Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre blog, where we provide lots of helpful tips, news, information and advice about physiotherapy and massage treatments, as well as general health and wellness, in Nepean and Ottawa.