If you are one of those unlucky people who have increased their physical activity and then ended up getting injured – don’t despair. I spoke to Dean Muldoon, who is a local physiotherapist. Below are his views on how to avoid soft tissue injuries and also how to manage them:
“The benefits of exercising far outweigh the negative aspect of developing sprains and strains through sport and exercise. We are all at risk of injuries but occasionally during running we may suffer an accident or perhaps due to fatigue, muscle imbalances developing or over exertion we may incur soft tissue injuries.
Correct management in the early stages and subsequently will prevent long term adverse effects developing and ensure a speedier and complete recovery. Poor management can lead to degenerative joint disease, chronic swelling, compensatory injuries and a non-return to activities.
There are certain factors to take into consideration to decrease the possibility of injury. Despite lots of research on stretching to prevent soft tissue injuries the evidence is still inconclusive. In my experience in sport and speaking to colleagues the general consensus is to carry out low load dynamic stretches for 5-10 minutes prior to exercise and then spend 10 minutes after the activity carrying out static stretches during the cool down. A daily regime of keeping your muscles stretched would certainly reduce the risk in those who exercise frequently. Other important factors when running would be to ensure that you have adequate footwear, maintaining a good diet and avoiding fatigue. You are more likely to injure your tissues if you are tired from previous activity.
Certainly during the initial stages of injury P.R.I.C.E should be the first line of management. This stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation.” Dean can be contacted on 07719 959955