Why Osteopathy Is so Important For Athletes and Runners
Have you ever wondered why top range athletes/runners have an entire physical therapy team at their beck and call?
Whilst running or participating in any strenuous sport has several advantages to our overall health and body it can also take a toll on our muscles and joints; especially for those who don’t adopt a diverse exercise regime. The most common injuries we see in clinic are “overuse injuries” which usually occur if a runner has no real method of training and tends to “push” their running capacity before their body is actually ready.
Ankle sprains, knee injuries, shin splints, and pulled muscles are a few of the most common injuries that are presented and can be avoided by adding a few simple steps to your training program.
Firstly, ensure your warm-up and cool-down are adequate. Most patients completely forego warming up or cooling down appropriately which increases the likelihood of injury. We suggest a warm-up and cool-down for around 8-15 minutes each.
Secondly, running is great but to ensure your able to regularly maximize your performance an element of strength and conditioning needs to be implemented to ensure your muscles are strong enough to withstand the impact of regular exercise.
Lastly, a regular sports therapy session should be added to your routine.
This usually depends on the level and amount an individual runs/trains. For example, an Olympian patient who runs and trains from moderate to high-intensity every day should receive sports therapy twice a week. Whereas, a beginner runner who runs 3 times a week can receive therapy once a week or once every fortnight.
Our Osteopathic sports treatments include dynamic passive stretching, muscle energy techniques, neuromuscular techniques, electrical muscle stimulation, joint mobilisations, and specific sports massage. All these combined encourages quicker recovery, lengthened muscle fibres which in turn will improve performance and improve range of motion enhancing running stride and capacity.
The same goes for gym-goers. We find that a lot of people have limitations in performing a full range squat. This could be the result of hip joint restrictions, tight quadriceps or hamstrings, ankle instability or previous knee injury. Our Consultant Osteopaths look thoroughly at the cause of any limitations in their clinical assessment and devise a treatment plan to eliminate these restrictions hence maximizing performance during exercise.