Get the Best Out of Sports

Get the Best Out of Sports

It can be rewarding to participate in sport or keep fit, improve your health and reduce your risk of serious illnesses, such as heart problems, stroke or cancer. It can help to keep your weight under control and improve your self-esteem.

Adults aged 19-64 are advised to do at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity of moderate intensity per week. This could include activities such as brisk walking or cycling. It’s also recommended to do exercises twice a week to strengthen all major muscle groups (arms, legs, and body). You should also aim to minimise the amount of time you spend sitting for extended periods, even if you are active on a regular basis.

For many in the UK, sport has become a way of life, with participants ranging from the elite athletes to those who just want to keep fit.

But if you get an injury what happens?

Too much or too hard engagement in sports can sometimes result in injury. Failure to warm up properly in advance or warm down and stretch after exercise can also lead to strain. Likewise, using inappropriate equipment or wearing the wrong footwear can hinder your performance. An unresolved injury that might not even be related to sport, can make it hard to get even started in physical activity.

Your Osteopath Can Help

After exercise, it is normal to experience some mild discomfort, as the body needs a little time to heal and adjust to the activity demands. Soreness mostly fixes itself quickly, but occasionally it can last for more than a couple of days or make it difficult for you to resume your usual activities. You may want to ask for advice from an Osteopath in these instances.

Osteopathic treatment is based on the patient’s particular needs, and hence varies depending on age, health and diagnosis. Osteopaths use a wide variety of gentle hands-on methods, concentrating on stress release, muscle relaxation and mobilising joints. These are also combined with exercise and supportive guidance along with strapping or taping, both intended to alleviate discomfort, help return to normal levels of activity and preserve the best of health. As well as treating injuries, Osteopaths may provide guidance on proper nutrition or prescribe a diet unique to sport.

The good news is that while sport injuries are common, those who are active and have experience following exercise routines can find that they recover from their injuries more quickly and easily.

How you can help yourself:

  • Start your activity slowly and increase your intensity especially after an injury
  • Drink plenty of water when you are thirsty, particularly when you are doing exercise
  • Take daily exercise and try to change the types of exercise you do for body fitness
  • If you think you have injured a limb, rest, ice, compression and elevation can help, but if you’re worried, seek advice

The usual healing time for soft tissue can be as long as 12 weeks (if no other injuries occur). If you’re concerned about a short, medium or long-term injury it’s worth getting more advice at both.

What to Expect

Osteopaths are highly qualified clinicians who have the ability to treat health conditions, including those which may need more investigation. They will inquire about current symptoms and medical history when they first visit an Osteopath. All details must be considered as confidential by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), May 2018.

Concerns over symptoms and cause is normal. An Osteopath should also complete a regular evaluation to test for more severe conditions, advise and discuss any further action that might be required. Following this review, an Osteopath will discuss treatment options and you will then collectively agree on a reasonable and appropriate treatment plan, along with any associated costs. This programme can include multiple visits and occasionally, more tests and/or referrals to another health care provider who is suitable. Treatment can commence at the first appointment. Afterwards, there could be a mild pain, but in most situations, this should dissipate within 24 hours.

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