Rosie Scott and Gemma Holland-Brown, Osteopaths at Third Space, identify eight simple actions that will help prevent common injuries every time you play sport or work out.
“The most common sports injuries we come across as Osteopaths are tightness in the legs and thighs with men and lower back and shoulder pain with women. Follow my easy to remember plan before and after you work out to ensure optimum health,” says Rosie.
Step 1: Keep your clothes on
Whilst it is tempting to ditch your jumper at the first lunge keep it on for at least the first five minutes to allow your body to retain heat.
Step 2: Utilise your whole body in your warm up
Even if you are about to do a spin class, make sure you get your upper body warm too, you will be using it even if you don’t think you will be.
Step 3: Pace yourself
During a work out be mindful of how your body is feeling. Train smart. If your body feels great then up the tempo, but if things are feeling sluggish, slow down or lengthen your warm up until your body catches up with what you want to be doing.
Step 4: Cross Train
One cause of sports injuries is the repetitive nature of what we like doing, for example running or cycling. Ensure your workout is varied and all muscles are utilised to avoid getting hurt.
Step 5: Cool down
Exercise itself is a stress on the body and the muscles. If you have a heavy session, consider an ice bath or even a cold shower. It can help reduce the micro-inflammation in your muscles and improve the speed at which the body can repair so you can get back out doing the sport you love
Step 6: Lengthen your body
Foam rolling, pilates, yoga, home stretching for your whole body will encourage blood into the muscle fibres and allow repair of any damage before problems turn into pain. If you don’t want to do this, then massage is essential for you.
Step 7: Balance yourself
The body operates using counterbalanced muscle groups that rely on even tension on left to right and front to back in order to help you retain balance. By incorporating balance exercises into your daily routine (think about brushing your teeth or filling the kettle on one leg) you can improve your balance and allow the body to adjust muscle tension throughout and prevent injuries.
Step 8: Rest
The body cannot cope with a daily battering. In the same way that sleep regenerates the mind, a rest from exercise (and we mean a complete rest) allows the body to repair the micro damage caused when working out.
Rosie (BSc, BOst) has worked with elite athletes including the Australian, New South Wales and Queensland cricket teams as well as all of the Sydney based Rugby league teams. She specialises in not only rehabilitation of injuries but has a strong emphasis on prevention of injury and creating an environment to allow the body to function to maximum potential.
Gemma (BSc, MOst) is passionate about running, having competed in several half marathons and marathons. She understands the demands running can put on your body and how to prevent injuries to get the most out of yourself. Gemma has always been fascinated by the human body and how by removing obstacles, physical or emotional which may be preventing healing, osteopathy can guide the body towards health and wellness and allow patients to flourish.