During long summer days and warm nights, we have more opportunities to get outside and participate in sports and activities such as basketball or soccer, cycling, hiking and others. That said, the risk of injuries due to falls, twisted ankles, ligament tears and more is always present. Our Nepean physiotherapists offer some tips for summer sports injury prevention and rehab.
Summer Sports Injury Prevention 101
Whether you're lacing up your running shoes to hit the track, heading to the court for a few pickup basketball games or to the baseball diamond for practice, if you're playing sports of any kind recreationally or otherwise, we are at higher risk summer sports injury as we venture outside during the warmer weather.
In this post, we'll share some tips on summer sports injury prevention and look at how sports injury rehab can help you manage existing pain and injuries. Our therapists in Nepean are ready to address any questions or concerns and set people who may feel vulnerable at ease.
1. Prepare with Stretching Exercises
With longer days and more sunlight, you could be forgiven for thinking you can pack more sports and activities into your days. But what must be taken into account is that if you haven't been working the same groups of muscles through the winter that you'll use to play your favourite summer sports, those muscles have likely de-conditioned from lack of use. That's why it's important to plan ahead and build in extra time for stretching and exercise to prevent joint injuries and muscle tears this summer.
Our team at Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre can help prevent muscle aches and joint pains that may otherwise sideline you by developing a sport-specific exercise program designed to restore proper muscle length and tension, in addition to strength and proprioception. Dedicating time to exercising can also improve your overall performance during the game.
2. Leverage Proper Body Mechanics
The way we move our bodies can either help prevent injuries and improve our physical fitness or leave us at risk for aches, pains and injuries that cause significant pain. Whether you're doing yard work, lifting weights at the gym, hiking your favourite trail or playing a pickup basketball game with friends, it's important to reduce stress on the back and other vulnerable areas.
Your physiotherapist can teach you how to use different muscle groups when lifting heavier objects so you can avoid neck and back injuries.
3. Strengthen Your Core
The central part of your body (the core) includes your lower back, stomach (abs), pelvis and hips. Your physiotherapist can introduce you to core exercises to help train your core muscles to function in harmony, leading to better balance and steadiness, or stability. Any exercise that involves using your back and stomach muscles in a coordinated way is considered a core exercise.
Whether you're performing regular activities or rushing down the field toward the goal line during a soccer game, stability is key. In fact, you'll find most physical activities and sports depend on strong, stable core muscles.
Classic core exercises are key to a well-rounded fitness program. They include planks, situps and fitness ball exercises to help strengthen and stabilize your core. A bridge is another example of a classic core exercise. To perform this one, like on your back and bend your knees. Keeping your back in a neutral position (not arched or pressed to the floor), tighten the muscles in your stomach while raising your hips off the floor until they line up with your shoulders and knees. Avoid tilting your hips. Hold the position for three deep breaths without breaking form.
Weak core muscles can leave you vulnerable to poor posture, muscle injuries and lower back pain. Your physiotherapist can help strengthen your core to improve posture, and potentially reduce your risk of falling and alleviate back pain.
4. Wear the Right Protective Gear
Lacing up your soccer cleats, hopping on your bicycle or heading out to the baseball diamond this summer? These sports and others each require safety and protective gear. No matter your age, ensuring your helmets, gloves, shoes, shin pads and other equipment fit properly and that you wear these items as needed can prevent many injuries.
5. Prevent and treat injuries
While preventive physiotherapy can help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals, treatment techniques for acute, chronic or recurring sports injuries can help athletes at all levels restore flexibility, strength, endurance and balance in their bodies, and get back to the sports they love. Regular physiotherapy sessions and sports injury rehabilitation at our Nepean physiotherapy centre can play a key role in your training regimen.
Sports Injury Prevention & Rehab at Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre
Prevention and sports injury treatment and rehabilitation are key components to any athlete's fitness regimen - and optimal performance in their chosen sport. At our physical therapy center in Nepean, we offer pre and post-season physiotherapy assessments. Our team also manages and treats acute and chronic sports injuries for weekend warriors, World Class athletes and everyone in between. We look forward to assessing your needs and helping you achieve or regain peak performance with a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step toward pain prevention and relief!
Are you wondering sports injury prevention and treatment can help you? Let's discuss how we can assist.
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.