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Pre & Post Injury

Let's take a look at things we can do to prevent an injury and how to treat one if it does happen. 

Injury prevention

Not all injuries can be prevented but you can reduce your risk by following these simple guidelines before exercising:

  • Warm up sufficiently before you exercise (at least 10mins)
  • Do not push your body beyond your current fitness level
  • Use recommended safety equipment for specific sports, such as shin guards for football or a mouth guard for rugby
  • See advice and support when beginning a new sport, such as from a friend, fitness or sports coach

Remember, children are most at risk of developing an overuse injury. This is because their bodies are still growing, which can make their bones, muscles and joints unstable and more vulnerable to damage.

What to do if you have an injury

  • Stop exercising if you feel pain
  • Pain is a natural defence mechanism reminding us not to use the injured area of the body and to allow it to rest.
  • Continuing to exercise while you're injured may cause further damage and slow your recovery time.

If you suffer a severe injury during any sporting activity, such as:

  • a deep cut
  • fracture
  • head concussion

you must go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department as soon as possible.

If the injury does not require immediate medical attention but causes severe pain, swelling or numbness, or if you cannot place any weight on the affected area, arrange a consultation with your GP or Physiotherapist as soon as possible.

Treating minor injuries

Such as:

  • sprains
  • strains
  • bruising

First things first - Rest!

Pain killers vs anti-inflammatories

To relieve symptoms of pain and swelling you may consider using simple OTC (over the counter) medications.

Medical research has shown that pure painkillers containing paracetamol deal with acute pain extremely effectively. For best effect in the first 24-48 hours, take in quantities as recommended on the box.

In recent years research has shown that anti inflammatory tablets, such as those containing ibuprofen, actually slow down early natural healing immediately post injury.

Anti-inflammatories interfere with the body’s own natural healing process and so are better left until healing has become established, some 3 days post injury. At this point they are most beneficial. There is anecdotal evidence that homeopathic remedies (arnica, aloe vera) applied locally can soothe injury and may be beneficial.

Self-treatment for joint pain

There are movement techniques to help improve the pain and stiffness in joints, such as:

  • Exercises targeting joint motion or flexibility
  • Exercises focusing on local muscle strength and stability

Muscles are meant to be shock absorbers, protecting joint surfaces from excessive loading or impact. Ultimately, they keep the surfaces of the joint healthy and functioning well for life.

Pilates can be a perfect choice for joint rehabilitation exercise as it is low impact. See here for more information about our Physio led Pilates classes

If you are currently suffering a debilitating muscle strain or ache that has progressed beyond the 72 hour period and want quick, effective treatment then we can help. 

by Simon.


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