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National Injury Prevention day

Injury Prevention day – what is it and who decides. It is the brainchild of the association of personal injury lawyers (APIL).  The aim is to improve public perception of injury prevention.  This may throw up images of industrial accidents or car crashes but injuries can be prevented at much more personal levels.

From Plym Physio’s perspective, we clearly look at the body and its interaction with the world around us.  Not interacting with solid objects at high speed might seem like common sense but is a regular occurrence on the sports field.

As part of injury prevention we deal with pre-habilitation at all abilities and ages. This tends to be with existing patients as part of their recovery but we also see some very forward thinking people who choose to prevent injury rather than waiting to become injured before visiting us.

In the sporting (as well as normal life) world, injuries occur for the following reasons:

Overloading the bones, muscles or tissues

Overuse of the above / inadequate rest

Imbalance of muscle groups

Interference of tissues which should not meet


Neuro muscular problems

Repetitive actions

Over-use and over-training injuries

If you have a physical job and enjoy an active sporting life, it is easy to fall into overuse injury.  There is an area below injury which can serve as a warning zone where performance drops off or improvements are not being made, otherwise known in most sports as plateauing.

Rest is as important as the training itself.  Most people who train hard understand this but often overlook their working life and the effect that each can have on each other.  Sometimes the brain gets forgotten about as well and people don’t connect frying their brain all day in a high stress job, then thrashing themselves in the gym or on the road as a bad thing.  Nine times out of ten it isn’t, and indeed is what allows you to repeat the cycle for the rest of the week.

One thing that is easily overlooked is stability training, we tend to train for our sport to be stronger-faster-longer in a specific action.  There has been successful research into women’s netball and soccer in protecting the ACL by conducting a hamstring strengthening program.  This might sound quite technical so maybe a better way of putting it would be, as a runner when is the last time you targeted you hamstrings or calfs. Both of these muscle groups cross the knee and have a stabilising effect, as well as their obvious propulsion purpose.

Another area which is etched into our minds (as well as the mind of every patient we see) is core strength or stability.  Any work which needs force transfer needs some strength in the core.  Taking the shopping from the floor to the cupboard, a tennis serve, a golf swing, a basket ball pass.  If your core strength is poor then the transfer of force will not be efficient.


One area to really watch for injury is at the high-performance end of activity.  this doesn’t have to be in competition but any time you say things to yourself such as – just five more reps, finish this four miler in 22 minutes.  Basically any time you are imposing harder conditions on yourself by increasing intensity or reducing time.  This is in no way discouraging anyone from pushing themselves, we have to do that to improve, just to be aware and do it when appropriate, safe and allow recovery afterwards.


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