Sports injuries are incredibly common. Whether it’s a muscle strain, plantar fasciitis or ongoing back problems, if you regularly participate in physical activity then the chances are you will experience a sports injury at some point.
Minor strains can clear without expert intervention. A few days rest may be enough to help a minor injury settle. But if your injury is taking longer to heal, it might need managing and rehabilitating. This is where a sports physiotherapist can help.
The most common sports injuries
A sports physiotherapist can play a big part in your recovery from injury, as well as in assisting in the prevention of injury recurrence. There are some common sports injuries that we see in clinic on a regular basis.
- Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia is a thick tissue that connects your heel to the front of your foot, supporting the arch of your foot and acting as a shock absorber during activity. Too much pressure on your feet can irritate or injure the plantar fascia causing a dull or sharp pain in the bottom of the feet as well as stiffness in the heel.
Most commonly seen in runners, plantar fasciitis pain can be so severe that it prevents you from doing even the most basic of daily tasks. As sports physiotherapists, we help you to stretch the plantar fascia as well as the Achilles tendons. This reduces inflammation and pain and helps to restore function. An exercise programme to strengthen the lower leg muscles and lessen the workload on the plantar fascia will help prevent the injury from recurring.
- Lower Back Pain
We’ve all suffered back pain at some stage in our lives. Poor technique when playing sports, trauma and repetitive movements are all common cause of back pain. Although lower back pain is a complex condition caused by many different factors – mechanical, environmental and psychological – physio can often be very effective in treating it.
- Muscle Strains
Muscle strains are incredibly common in the thigh, groin, ankle, shoulder, knees and back. They occur when tissues in the muscle are stretched or even torn. And can be incredibly painful and accompanied by muscle spasms.
- Ligament Sprains
The role of a ligament is to provide an element of passive movement between the body’s bones. So it is not surprising that ligament injuries in sports people are common and can occur at any joint.
Ligament injuries in the knee and ankle are often a result of twisting or landing awkwardly. When a joint is stressed beyond its normal range, ligaments can be strained. The healing time of a ligament injury will vary depending on its severity and location.
Also known as tendinitis, this type of injury to the tendon may appear to occur suddenly, but is usually the result of repetitive tendon overloading. Golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries and jumper’s knee (patellar tendinitis) are just some of the tendon injuries we see regularly in our sports injury clinic.
- Runner’s Knee – Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
According to Runners’ World, “runner’s knee” is the most common overuse injury among runners. The main causes are irritation of the soft tissues or lining of the knee, worn or torn cartilage or strained tendons, trauma or dislocation to the kneecap.
Sufferers might experience a dull pain around the patella (kneecap), especially where it meets the lower part of the thighbone (femur), as well as a rubbing or grinding feeling around the knee. A sports physiotherapist can identify whether the way you are running is contributing to the condition, and help you make adjustments to reduce pain and inflammation. Exercises that focus on strengthening the hip and quad muscles are key to reducing pain in the knee.
How can a sports physio help?
Here at React we will create a customised recovery plan by looking not just at the immediate injury, but also your gait and lifestyle. The treatment plan will fit into your exercise regime to ensure that you are back playing the sports you love in the shortest possible time.