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Can exercise prevent sports related injury?
There is evidence for all age groups that physical activity is important in both prevention and treatment of some of the most sizable conditions of our time such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis and depression but can exercise and specific training techniques prevent sports-related injuries from occurring.
Injuries are virtually the sole drawback of exercise. Management of sports injuries can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. However, sports injury prevention by different kinds of strength training, proprioception exercises, stretching activities and a combination of these is accessible to essentially everyone and requires limited medical staff assistance.
So, do exercise and strengthening programs actually work in preventing sports related injuries ?
A study (published in May 2014 by Lauersen et al in the Journal of Sports Medicine) reviewed a series of previous studies testing just that to conclude that in general, physical activity was shown to effectively reduce sports injuries. Strengthen training in particular, reduced sports injuries to less than 1/3. Both acute and overuse injuries can be significantly reduced, overuse injuries by almost half. (Acute injuries are a sudden injury that is usually associated with a traumatic event such as a collision/fall/etc, where as an overuse injury, as it’s name suggests, is caused by repetitive overuse of a particular part of your body. They develop slowly and can last a long time. Symptoms are often initially mild compared to acute injuries and as such people often ignore the pain and continue with their aggravating activity, eventually leading to a greater problem and more pain).
What does this mean for the average athlete playing soccer/netball/football/running/etc once a week and training once a week?
You should also be implementing a strengthening program to help prevent any injuries occurring while competing in the sport you love. Don’t ignore little niggles until they eventuate into a bigger problem.
For a specific training program designed for you and to prevent any future injuries that may eventuate, call Active Body on (02) 9899 8242 and make an appointment to see one of our EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGISTS. If you already have an injury, or a niggle that won’t go away, book in with one of our PHYSIOTHERAPISTS first to have your injury/niggle assessed and treated prior to commencing a strengthening program.