1. Back pain from spinal joint sprains and strains
There are hundreds of joints extending from your neck to tailbone and rib cage. Movements during training that overstretch or overload joints can cause joint sprains and strains. These are common and can range from the mild irritation to debilitating pain. Most patients can make a complete recovery from most these when treated. Untreated they can remain problematic for long periods. Without treatment they can become areas of reoccurring injury and pain 2. Pelvic (Sacroiliac) joint sprain and strain
Like spinal joints, the two large joints either side of your tail bone in your pelvis can be sprained. The job of the sacroiliac joints can be very complex. They must bear weight and control movement. In my experience, they often become an area of repeated problems when left untreated. 3. Overuse injuries and tendonitis
As the name implies overuse and repetitive movements can cause injury almost any tendon. Repetitive use causes rubbing and irritation that can cause inflammation. In some cases this leads to bursitis which can easily become chronic. Tendonitis with bursitis almost always requires rest and specific rehabilitation. 4. Shoulder sprains and strains
The shoulder has a large range of motion but it generally not a very stable joint. This large range of motion makes it susceptible to chronic muscle strains, tendonitis’s, bursitis. These conditions in this area can often become chronic and can be difficult to manage. 5. Ankle sprains
These are a common traumatic sports injury. Rolling an ankle can be just bad luck but ankles need specific rehabilitation. Bad sprains can leave ankles week and susceptible to re-injury with simple activities. Many ankle strains over a period of time need specialized rehab.
6. Groin and hamstring strains
Are common sports complains and can often be the result of problems with form and technique. Tight and inflexible muscles, improper warm up can also be the cause. Overloaded weights training are another way these strains can occur. Simple examination and rehabilitation often gives excellent results. 7. Knee injuries
Poor techniques, physical trauma and overstrain of muscles around the knee can lead to many different knee injuries. Some such as patella (knee cap) tracking disorders can respond well to rehabilitation. More severe knee injuries need surgery and extensive rehabilitation to return to exercise. Knee injuries need thorough examination and investigation to be property diagnosed and treated.
So to avoid many of these common injuries we have put together a list of Our top tips for avoiding injury 1. Get professional advice
This is all about GOOD TECHNIQUE and knowing your body! As an Osteopath I have an excellent understanding of peoples individual body biomechanics. It is easy for us to see what is and what isn’t good for people to do. This combined with a trainer can put you in the best possible position train in the safest way possible way. This is when you can gain maximal results.
Knowing any limitations from previous injuries and concentrating on posture, technique and form. Getting advice from trainers no matter what your level is so important. Not only will it decrease your risk of injury but it also improves results. As you increase distance or weight you should be striving for improvement in technique. Not only does it present intrinsic challenges but it prevents injury.’ 2. Don’t do too much too fast.
Most of the time training is challenging yourself and pushing yourself harder. No matter what the challenge you need to allow your body time to get used to new movements or increased demand. Building things up steadily will always give you the best chance of avoiding injury. People become disheartened when they don’t see results from training sessions quickly
You would think this is most common to beginners but that is not always true. Sometimes more experienced exercisers misjudge where they are with strength and fitness. I often see very fit people underestimating the core strength required to get them to the next level in their training. Too much weight or distance too quickly can set you back severely. Overtraining and not allowing the body adequate rest periods can exhaust the body. Draining the body’s energy and not allowing time to recover and repair after can set you up for injury. 3. Warm up
Most people are guilty of not doing this one at some point. Warm up exercises are usually done with the aim of increasing the blood flow to the muscles. The increased blood flow makes them more “pliable” and adaptable to exercise without injury. Warm up exercises are generally high-rep, low-intensity – a light jog, cycle etc. Lifting weights without a warm up is putting you at a much higher risk of injury no matter how fit you are. 4. Don’t ignore pain
If it hurts, STOP! Pushing through pain (especially sharp or pain you have not had before) is not good. Pushing through fatigue for resistance training is how you progress. After an intense weights session a stretch or a foam roller can ease minor soft tissue strains. A good trainer can help you identify the difference between pushing yourself to the next level and pain due to tissues being injured. I often see patients who have been pushing through the pain not realising the damage they are doing. Continuing training with tendon injuries can cause tendonitis that can be difficult to rehabilitate. It is a similar story for stress fractures. Often the body has been trying to tell them for quite sometime that it cannot deal with the loads being applied. These injuries are far more common than people realise. If identified early they have much better outcomes. 5. Stretch
Ok so there’s lots of different schools of thought on this one. One minute it’s essential before and after all exercise. Next minute a researcher will claim there are no beneficial outcomes. What I do know from years of treating injuries is that not stretching at all will not help your performance. Not Stretching at all will probably put you at a much greater risk of hurting yourself.
Properly performed, a stretch helps to elongate, increase circulation and warm up a muscle. Warmed up muscles are more pliable and ‘alert’. in my experience this makes it far more injury-resistant. Post exercise muscle soreness is reported less when muscles are stretched after a workout.
Yep I’ve come across body builders that don’t stretch ….. like ever!! I often find not only do they have injuries but they can be very unbalanced with their strength and flexibility. They may be able to lift very heavy weights but some simple activities can easily cause strain in them. In my experience, the best performing bodies have a perfect combination of strength and flexibility. These bodies tend to recover well from injuries.
Make sure you get advice and guidance from a trained professional on what stretches are best for you and how to do them properly before you start. 6. Optimal nutrition
Ive seen countless people wanting to lose weight who consume too little or the wrong type of food. They continue to try to train hard and frequently. This is a great way to get injured. If you want to perform better or gain muscle bulk diet is important. Getting advice from a sports nutritionalist on what to eat is worthwhile. You need to provide your body with the best fuel possible if you want it to perform well. If you are doing resistance training you need to ‘feed’ your muscles. Optimal nutrition can feed your muscles and help them recover from a work-out.
Get the right advice from the beginning. Have a team around you to know exactly what your body can (and probably should not) do and how to do it correctly. At the first sign of injury get it assessed and treated. Follow the proper management from the beginning to avoid injuries setting you back.
A serious problem in your hip joint – like damage to your cartilage. It’s not that common particularly in young people and it is usually painful.
Tight tendons or muscles ‘snapping’ ‘flicking’ and ‘clicking’ over the boney parts of your hip joint. – This is really common and is often painless. The two biggest offenders are your psoas muscle in your groin or your ITB (illiotibial band) on the outside of your hip.
So is it bad?
If you have a serious problem in your hip joint then yes the reparative ‘clicking’ could be bad and causing further damage. If it is caused by ‘tight’ muscles snapping over boney bits ….. while it’s not that bad or necessary painful, it can lead to inflammation, bursitis and other problems at the hip in some people
The people who get “snapping hip syndrome’ the most are often dancers, athletes and people doing a lot of exercise or people that are using their hip flexors a lot in some way.
To know exactly what is going on in your hip and the cause of the ‘snap’ you need your hip properly assessed and diagnosed. Once we have examined your hip then we can work out exactly what is casing it and what to do about it.
In the majority of cases that we see the ‘clicking’ or ‘snapping’ is being caused by tight muscles. Osteopathy takes a global look at your body and movement to see how and why certain muscles have become this way …. Is it a repetitive movement you’re doing? Is it to do with your posture at work or when you are exercising?. Has your psoas become overly tight due to stiffness in your lower back? And so on…
Once we figure out how and why your muscles have become this way be can work out the best way to treat it.
We might release the tension in the muscles and use techniques to improve range of motion in parts of your body that are being affected by the increased tension in these muscles.
We will often prescribe you specific stretches or techniques designed to release tension in the problematic muscles. Foam rollers and massage balls can be very helpful with this
Help you understand and improve your technique or posture with a particular exercise or activity that you are doing
Sometimes no matter what the patient does they will never get rid of it. So long as they have had it investigated and ensure that there is no damage being caused to their joints by the activity that they are doing then they continue to move and ‘clunk’ ‘snap’ and ‘click’ their way through a yoga class. Have you got a snapping hip? Or know someone who does? If you need to be moving better then come see us and we’ll get you moving again! Call one of our clinics for an appointment
Our misconceptions around pain Here’s a little questionnaire for you. If you answer yes to more than 3 of these questions, you are part of the majority of people (and myself until a few years ago) who have misconceptions about pain..
When you are in pain, do you think that a health practitioner is going to fix you or cure the pain? Yes/No
Do you think that pain relief is necessary before you can become active again? Yes/No
Do you often take a drug to “take the edge off” the pain? Yes/No
Do you think that increased pain means that you have injured yourself, or made the injury worse? Yes/No
Do you often think that doctors have missed something, or that you need more investigations to explain your pain? Yes/No
Do you think that if an x-ray or MRI/CT scan show an anatomical pathology, then that is what is causing your pain? Yes/No
Purpose of it-Why do we experience pain?
Pain is everywhere. You are not alone. Right now, there are about 20 percent of people on this planet who have pain that has persisted for more than 3 months. Why is it that way? Let’s talk about the basics for a minute. We classify pain as acute or persistant/chronic pain.
This is the pain when you get a paper cut on your finger, or you just put your finger on the pan that was really hot. Pain is useful in this situation because your brain detects the action as a threat and as a response retrieves the finger from the threat. Once the threat has disappeared, the tissues are left to heal and each tissue has a specific healing rate.
When pain persists and feels like it is ruining your life, it is hard to see its purpose. But even when pain has been around for years and years, it is still there and nasty because the brain has concluded that there is threat or danger and that you need protecting-the trick is finding out why the brain has come to the conclusion.
Complexity of pain-it is multifactorial
Yes, we are right in the middle of a huge paradigm shift where our clinical knowledge about what’s happening in your tissues is only ONE part of the whole pain experience. In fact, by knowing what is happening physiologically in your tissues, I simply can’t predict how much pain you are experiencing! But it is the BRAIN and the brain only that decides whether something hurts or not, 100% of the time, with absolutely NO exceptions. He is the boss. Nerve signals get sent to the brain when a peripheral tissue is injured. The brain then checks with your memory centre, emotional centre, sensory centre, fear conditioning and motor centres and many many more in the brain to only THEN release an output of pain that can be intensified or reduced.
What can we do about it?
Consult with your osteopath and get an idea of how long it will take for your injured tissues to heal (acute pain) or how long it should take for there to be a change (persistant pain). Manual therapy itself is a tool that sends signals to your brain telling it that it is safe, and not a threat.
‘this pain that I am experiencing is here for a purpose’,
‘my pain will probably be quite bad for a while, but I can calm myself down’
‘I am in control, I can manage this’
‘if this has happened because of an underlying cause eg. posture, I will do something about it to avoid this happening again’
Use relaxation techniques eg. Yoga, mindfulness, meditation are all beneficial for decreasing the neurological sensitisation in the area, that may be increasing your perception of the pain
Move-keep mobile, our bodies are designed to move! Even if you are in a little bit of pain, stay mobile.
Desensitise the central nervous system (the brain, the boss)-this can be done through all of the above
All these strategies help to dethreaten the value of pain. They help you overcome fear of movement and send constant signals back to the brain that it is OK to be in a little bit of pain.
“Everyone can understand the basics around pain science. And it is our role as osteopaths to educatepatients about this. It needs to be a team effort between the osteopath and the patient. We need to figure out why the brain is still seeing a healthy tissue as a source of pain, ie beliefs around pain, previous trauma, previous emotional experiences and work on developing management strategies around that” Clementine Carnus, Associate osteopath at Move Osteopathy
This month we asked trainer Matt from “The Results Room” in Newstead to give us some insight into how to keep up with your fitness goals even if you have an injury. An injury, pains, niggles and other ailments can really derail our focus and commitment to regular exercise and training. It can happen to anyone from high-level athletes to office workers to stay-at-home mums. If this is you, I want you to know that it’s not the end of the world or the end of your health and fitness goals, but a mere setback to learn from and overcome. Sometimes these things can take a long time to manage and frustrations can set in, but if you ensure there is a plan in place to fix it, perseverance is the key to seeing it through and coming out millhouse!
The following are a few strategies that you can implement in your training to keep you on track:
Train the uninjured body parts
If you injure your ankle for example, you still have all of your upper body that you can train and the other leg! Don’t be scared of creating an imbalance, as you will get a cross-education effect to the injured side that will help maintain the strength you do have and help to speed recovery.
Do your rehab exercises!
It helps your injury if you do these every day in most cases, they help to keep the injured limb mobile and provide some stimulus for either a healing or strengthening adaptation to occur. If you train with a trainer, get them to work with your clinician to monitor and coach you through your rehab exercises.
Prevention is better than a cure
Some injuries are clearly unavoidable; in those cases implementing the first two points will keep you on track. However, many injuries come about for a variety of reasons and can be avoided. To ensure you stay injury free find yourself a reputable coach who can give you a structured plan to fit your needs, knows and coaches you to perform exemplary form on big multi-joint exercises and has a working knowledge of exercise modifications should you need to change something to suit you better. If you have an injury, check with your Osteopath and seek their advice on training. If you have any questions or are interested in some more information about training feel free to pop in and Matt at The Results Room or send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is interesting for and osteopath to be involved, as we generally do not see this level of acute trauma in our clinics however; the diagnostic process is the same. There are 12 orthopaedic surgeons on rotation who primarily operate from hospitals in Milan and Turin, 1 GP, 1 nurse, 1 physiotherapist, usually 4 or so paramedics who drive the ambulances…and 1 osteopath. it’s a hugely educational collaboration and I have learnt so much about simple orthopaedic operations, their indications and when they are likely to be effective or not. This knowledge will greatly assist my regular work in Australia and help to improve our management particularly of tendon and ligament injuries.
As well as trauma patients, I am working with my usual group of skiers helping them improve their mechanics and skiing performance. Word has spread (passa parola in Italian) to other elite athletes who are in the region and I have been treating some world class cyclists and a professional golfer who came primarily because their skiing friends had noticed the difference in their performance and they wondered if I could do something for them.
I love it when people start to understand how osteopathy can help them feel and function better as opposed to just using us when they are in pain. It is very satisfying as an osteopath to work with elite athletes who are so in tune with their body’s and their usual ‘output’ because when we find things that we feel are important to address, even if it is a subtle experience for them to have it addressed, they can feel a significant difference in their output…it’s a confirmation that we are on the right track.
By working with elite athletes and processing their response to osteopathic biomechanical optimisation, it has made me more aware and convinced of how to better help our ‘weekend warriors’ and us regular folk, who just want to feel and function better. See you all soon back in Brisbane. Giulian For move information about MOVE Osteopathy – Please visit us at our website moveosteopathy.com.au