Sport is a vital part of the Australian Lifestyle – it promotes good health, facilitates stress relief and, most importantly, is a source of fun, enjoyment and recreation. Sometimes injuries may occur through sport, but fortunately most injuries can be effectively treated by your Physiotherapist.
Physiotherapy treatment will enable you to return safely to your sporting activity more quickly than to “rest and seeing what happens”. Your Physiotherapist can also provide advice to prevent sporting injuries. Common Injuries include bruises, ligament sprains, joint injuries, and over-use injuries.
What goes wrong?
Most sporting injuries are a result of a direct blow (bruise or contusion) or an indirect force like a twist (sprains, strains, tears). Some injuries are due to overuse stresses (tendinitis, stress fractures).
How to minimise injury
- Correct warm up and warm down procedures.
- Protective strapping or bracing
- Correct footwear, sporting equipment and/or orthotics
- Specific conditioning for your particular sport
- Good aerobic fitness
- Good muscle control and reactions
Before you can safely return to your sport it is essential to regain strength, mobility, balance and co-ordination. Your Physiotherapist will assess these areas and show you how to improve them.
How Physiotherapy can help?
Physiotherapists are highly qualified and trained in the assessment and treatment of sports injuries. As they have comprehensive knowledge of biomechanics, tissue injury and healing, many Physiotherapists are appointed to sports teams to monitor the rehabilitation of injured players and assist with preventing injuries.
What to do after injury
As soon as possible, and for up to 72 hours after injury, use the RICER method:
Rest – take it easy and only move within your limit of pain.
Ice – apply for 20 minutes every two hours to reduce inflammation.
Compression – firmly bandage injury site. This helps to control swelling.
Elevation – as much as possible, elevate injury higher than level of heart.
Referral – physiotherapy indicated if painful and swollen after 24 hours.
With early physiotherapy and RICER recovery is quicker. Without physiotherapy, application of the RICER protocol and too much activity too soon, your body’s response to injury could result in bulky painful scar tissue and delayed recovery.
Recovery can start very early after an injury. Physiotherapy rehabilitation techniques will help reduce the time that your injury is painful and movement is restricted, so that you can safely return to sport faster. Rehabilitation also facilitates a good quality repair and the return of normal muscle and nerve function. Avoid any of the HARM factors in the first 48 hours to prevent increased swelling and to aid your recovery: