If you participate in any type of sports then there is a high chance at some point you will have suffered a sports injury. We are here to explore how we can limit injuries and how with the correct treatment from a sports Osteopath you can recover quicker.
What Does A Sports Osteopath Do
A sports osteopath specialises in musculoskeletal disorders and aims to maximise movement, reduce pain and improve quality of life. Osteopathy is a type of manual therapy that diagnoses and treats a wide range of conditions. Thus it emphasises the restoration of the structure and function of the human body by encouraging its innate ability to heal itself. They use various techniques on muscles, joints and viscera to help relieve tension and enhance mobility. We progress you through the 5 stages of rehabilitation.
What Sports Injuries Can You Treat
Surprisingly all sporting injuries are very similar across all sports disciplines, so we can treat most injuries. The most common conditions we see in our sports injury clinic are:
- Ankle Sprain
- Runners Knee
- Hamstring strain
- Calf strain
- Shin splints
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Running Injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Neck Pain
- Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
Even though injuries may be similar, treatments differ because we are all individuals and made differently. Treatment may range from hands on muscular stretching, joint articulations and manipulations. Your sports osteopath will discuss what methods are most effective to treat your symptoms along with a detailed sports rehabilitation program with estimated healing times.
Sports Massage Vs Sports Osteopath
Osteopathic treatments are a regulated profession, and if you call yourself an osteopath, you must seek registration under the General Osteopathic Council. The training can take between 4 to 6 years before you are qualified. Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners who have a superb sense of touch which makes this mode of treatment unique and very effective.
Massage, on the other hand, is not a protected name. Anyone can opt to call themselves sports masseurs. To qualify as one, you can take a fast track course lasting around 3 weeks.
Sports Osteopathy Techniques
This features a complete treatment for your whole posture with overall management to optimise recovery. Your osteopath looks at your body, makes valid connections and applies this detailed knowledge to address your body’s issues using manual techniques.
Some of the techniques applied include:
- Joint articulation
- Joint manipulation
Osteopathy aims to release restrictions in joints and soft tissue, improve lymphatic drainage and enhance nerve and blood supply. Additionally, your osteopath identifies other possible factors that may be influencing prolonged pain, such as
- The functionality of your movements to reduce mechanical loading into sensitive areas.
- Balance of activity – For example if you are a runner it is also important to strengthen and stretch. So running, Pilates, strength training and swimming would be a great balance of different training activities.
- Stress – your ability to cope with exercise, work & life demands.
- Rest – When you sleep your body heals so it’s important you incorporate sufficient rest into your exercise routines.
- Thoughts – how you think and feel about your body can affect your pain perception.
- Digestion – 70% of your immune system is based in your gut therefore improving your digestion will help to optimise your recovery. We give nutrition & hydration advice at Wellthy Clinic.
Generally, Osteopathy involves more than just hands-on treatment. Your osteopath wants to understand what is stopping your body to heal and what are the barriers to your recovery. Therefore we will ask about other areas to give your body the best chance to recover.
Sports Massage Techniques
On the other hand, massage does not involve in-depth assessment. Although a massage therapist will undertake a short assessment and case history, massage treatment commences quickly. The focus is more on reducing muscular tensions rather than diagnosis.
Massage techniques include:
- Light and deep massage
- Deep friction
If you are active in sports and have been experiencing minor strains or injuries, seek a sports massage. It can enhance healing and prevent future cases of injury.
Which Is The Best Treatment Of Two
It depends on the type of sports injury and the severity of the underlying damage. Matthew Glithero is qualified in both disciplines and will advise the best treatment and recovery option.
How To Reduce The Risk Of Sports Injuries
- Warm-up, when the body is warmed to the correct temperature increases muscle viscosity and reduces the chance of injury.
- Keep hydrated, dehydration can lead to poor decision making. The last thing you want to do is to make the wrong choice between carrying on or stopping exercise.
- Understand the difference between aches and pain, once you understand your body you will realise what is just an aching pain that you can push through mentally. Then there are sharp pains that if you continue will start to do damage to your body.
- Plan rest days, recovery is important, it allows the body to repair and strengthen.
- Wear the right equipment, whatever sports you partake in to ensure you’re wearing the correct gear. If there is safety equipment available, wear it, special footwear available, then wear it.
- Strengthen muscles, work on your core and strengthen all of your body. Reformer Pilates is a great way for all over-toning.
- Increase flexibility, once you have a greater range of movement the risk reduces greatly.
- Warm-down, you could incorporate your stretching routine into this. Warm down is as important as the warm up. Your body is at its optimum temperature so stretching at this point will help to remove lactic acid from the muscle. It will remove tension from the muscles and help relieve stress naturally.