Why should you see a highly qualified Physio for your Sports Injuries?
We recognise that injuries relating to exercise and sport are not restricted to the elite athlete. This is why we treat and rehabilitate athletes of all ages and expertise, from the recreational runner (especially beginners, or the Sunday golfer), all the way through to elite athletes including those who represent Great Britain at their sport. Sports Injuries are always unwelcome and many of them repetitive. As a result, our treatments focus not only on the present injury, but also on the reasons for injury, and we aim to provide strategies for eliminating the causes of the presenting problem. Treatment will always be tailored to the individual, taking account of their treatment goals, and plans for future levels of activity.
Throughout Essex, we take care of the preparation and rehabilitation of some incredible athletes, from the slopes of the Alps and the deserts of the Middle East, to the courts at the University of Essex and the manicured greens of Colchester and Stoke by Nayland. Each athlete has individual needs, and very different demands on their body which needs a huge variety of skills and expertise in Physiotherapy, Sports Massage, Injury Prevention and Injury management to keep them all playing as often as possible, to the peak of their ability.
Although characteristics of your running style or running shoe may have some influence on injury the majority of non-traumatic running injuries that I see in clinic are predominantly due to excessive increases of running load (in other words, a significant increase in the distance run in a week, or a significant increase in pace/much faster running) or a lack of consistency of running load. Examples of these presentations could be a client who is training for a marathon and has got behind with their training progression, then suddenly increases their weekly mileage; or a regular 3-4 days a week runner not training for 2-3 weeks and then returning to their previous schedule.
These types of injuries can usually be addressed by finding a comfortable running load that reduces the target distance or pace, allowing for continued participation in running and for the runner’s discomfort to diminish.
Stopping running is not always the best option.
Once the prescribed load is pain free or the runner can tolerate the level of discomfort, the load can be increased by 10% (of one parameter!) provided discomfort does not increase. Current research suggest soft tissues can tolerate short term changes in load of up to 10%.
In situations where symptoms are persisting looking at characteristics of running styles which may predispose injured tissue to more load can be useful. We use slow motion treadmill analysis to detect these characteristics and then give you useful cues which you can use in running to help.
Before making changes in running style or equipment it must be recognised that incredibly, the body self- optimises to your own style, therefore tissue that is loaded the most will attempt to get stronger and muscles used will adapt to use energy and produce force more efficiently and effectively.
A sudden overhaul of style is likely to involve tissues that are less strong and muscles that have not adapted to the new style causing greater loads and possible damage to these tissues. Its really important to note that a sudden change in the characteristics of your running shoe (buying a new one!) would also have this effect.
Given this point it makes sense that any change in running style to assist recovery from injury should be gradually introduced and professionally guided.
This can be achieved by trying to change one characteristic of your running style for 1 minute of every mile you run rather than all at once and not just buying a completely different running shoe in the hope that it will fix the problem.
In the next few weeks I will be delving into different running styles which can be modified, adapted and adopted relatively easily to help you with recovery from injury and achieve your running goals!
In the meantime, if you'd like some help or need a bit of guidance and advice, then please call the clinic, or email us to get booked in for a session. Alternatively you can book online using the button below!
Protect and Strengthen
The total care of dedicated athletes is never more important than in the intensity of Rugby 7s tournaments.
Our team cares for a performance squad of players who have to play both 15s and 7s throughout the year, ramping up to 4 days of white hot competition at the iconic Dubai 7s in early December.
From their screening assessments in September they have individual stength, conditioning, and injury prevention programs to prep them properly for peaking at the right time - the only thing we can't do is to acclimatise them to the heat experienced in the Middle East!
The injury management needed over three high energy games within 48 hours is demanding, but with detailed planning and preparation it can be exciting rather than hectic, and while the focus is obviously on making sure every player is available for every game, sometimes tough decisions have to be made. We focus a lot on our relationship with the coach and the players to make sure they know we have their best interests at the core of every decision we make - and we can do the same for you!
Ready for another Ski season?
Do you want to know how you can ski even better, carve harder, and push yourself to the limit while reducing the risk of injury? Contact us at one of our clinics and we will guide you through a full assessment to identify your weaknesses, focus on where you should be strengthening and give you detailed exercises so that you can enjoy your trip to the slopes to the max!
You know your hips are important, but do you know HOW they should move, and why your knees are at risk in the snow? We will tell you how to smooth your style, manage your moguls and perfect your slalom moves, all BEFORE your get to the mountains?
We have spent years analysing the skills needed to ski well, and to ski safely, and while a ski-fit class is a great idea, if you don't know where your weaknesses lie, you'll have no clue as to how to eliminate them. Let us look after you, and get going NOW so that your body is totally switched on to how to ski when you start the season next Christmas.
Just listen to what Jasmin Taylor, World Championships Bronze Medallist says about our Physios:
"Thank you for all the support, I literally quite physically couldn't do it without you!"
Performance Sport Volleyball player from University of Essex (and Texas) Leah McWilliams talks about how a pre season screening helps to reduce the risk of injury and how Physiotherapy support helps guide athletes to understand their bodies and perform to the best of their ability.
Pre season screening can be an essential part of an athlete centred program. Whether you are an elite sportsman or woman, or play regular club sport, you can help to understand your injury risk, and make yourself more injury resistant by indentifying and addressing your weak spots.
At Colchester Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic, we have a wealth of expertise gathered from many different sports that our Physios have earned over their careers. We are dedicated to helping athletes and coaches understand the pattern of individual and team injuries and lay-offs that affect the amount of game time any one player has during a season, and their whole career.
While no-one can claim to be totally protected from injury, you, the athlete will begin to understand the work you need to do in order to play better, harder, and smarter over a long period rather than just looking at the next game, which can do serious damage to your long term prospects and sporting career.
Physiotherapy has a great track record of keeping players playing, and athletes on the straight and narrow, squeezing every last ounce out of your effort, your sweat and tears in order to keep you in the game, or return you to your sport as soon as possible!
At Colchester Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic, we are priviledged to work with a huge variety of athletes and sports men and women. With the huge success of the England Women's cricket teamwe have seen a boost to the number of young female cricketers playing the game, and as a result they are having to get used to different physical demands to the sports that were previously considered 'core' school sports. Therefore we are seeing a broad range of cricketers with enormously varied ability, and markedly different goals - some to simply enjoy the game, others with ambitions to play International cricket.
The standard of young and developing cricketers in Essex is particularly impressive at the moment, with some outstanding coaches bringing players through from small local clubs to representative cricket with sublime skills that sometimes are way ahead of their physical capacity. This leads to them playing too much at times, with school, club and county all wanting them to play in the short summer season, and the player not wanting to let anyone down.
This is an obvious recipe for disaster and potential injury lurks round every corner when an athlete is tired or over-played, with significant expectation placed upon them.
You’ve done all the preparation, you’ve registered, got your number. Now what? Well, the good news is that all that preparation you have put in over the long weeks and months of training in the cold, the damp and the dark are about to come to fruition. The biggest thing you can do now is to ENJOY IT!
Stick to a pace you have been comfortable with, hear the crowds (after all, they’ve all come to watch YOU, not Mo Farah…) and make sure you take on your hydration (and gels if you’re using them), at the right time.
Now PLAN your recovery. The human body is outstanding. It knows how to recover, and will do a huge amount of work without you even knowing, particularly while you are asleep. Your goal should be to get the spring back in your step and be able to do a short training run WITHOUT undue soreness. Now get ready for the bit that some people love, and some hate. The Marathon Marmite Moment –
DO NOT RUN FOR A WEEK.
In fact, avoid all forms of aerobic exercise for a week. It allows your body to clean up the worst of the damage that your muscles will inevitably face, and to control any swelling that you cause due to your running. Ice those legs, either with cold packs or ice baths, which you can do for approximately 12 minutes every hour, and get your feet up (well supported under the knees).
In the SECOND week, invoke your creativity and get cross training (NOT CrossFit training, please) with swimming, aqua jogging, cycling, so that you get things moving gently for about half an hour at a time, every other day, but do not consider impact for the legs. Walking to do normal daily activities is fine, but no more than that.
In the THIRD week, if your body feels ok, and you don’t get sore from some light jogging, then you can do some in this week, but don’t be stupid – there is no point in doing any speed or interval training here. This is about RECOVERY! Again, every other day is the aim, keeping the intensity levels to only just over 50%. Keep this going for a couple of weeks, but feel free to have a rest day if your body feels under par. It is sensible to run on soft surfaces during this recovery period, so no roads, concrete, or track work please.
Once you find you have all the normal energy to complete your daily chores, work and other activities, and you can run without any stiffness or soreness, then you can start to run safely. This is NOT the time to start racing again. Spend a couple of weeks at sub-maximal training to make sure you are fully recovered
BEWARE: There are research studies that found signs of damage in Marathon runners’ muscles 6-8 weeks after the event – you don’t want to give yourself a long term problem, so lay off in the short term, and you’ll be fitter in the long run. Obviously nutrition plays a big part in your recovery too, giving your body the fuel to encourage repair, but as this is not our area of expertise, we recommend you speak to a qualified nutritionist to maximise your healthy eating efforts and boost your immune system!