8 Mar 2016 9:52 AM – Dr. Gabie Falconer (Chiropractor)
Australia is regarded as a sports loving nation and this month we will see the launch of some of our favorite codes of sport, The National Rugby League (NRL), Rugby Union & Netball. As winter dawns upon us, it comes as a timely reminder for athletes participating in their local social competition to not imitate their sporting idols.
In 2006, the Medibank Private Safe Sports Report stated that approximately 5.2 million Australians suffer sports-related injuries each year (1).
Statistically, sports injuries peak in the months of May, June and July. This is not surprising because cold muscles, tendons and ligaments increase your risk of sustaining injury. However fear of injury should not deter you from participating in your favorite sport, the benefits of regular exercise far outweigh the risks.
If you haven’t been training in the off-season, it is important to give your body time to adapt to the change of stresses being placed upon it. Abrupt changes in the amount of exercise you’re putting your body through can be detrimental and increase your risk of sustaining an injury.
If you are unfortunate enough to sustain an injury, it is important to not play on with the injury and to not return to sport until you are fully recovered as you may do more damage. Remember a lot of your sporting idols have a team of health professionals with them pre and post injury, giving them a speedier recovery.
Recovery time is also important when you are placing your body under this extra strenuous exercise, don’t try to overdo it. Recovery time is just as important to allow your muscles to recover properly and give your body the rest it deserves.
The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (NSW) released a set of guidelines for the winter sports season –
- Ease into training –Start any new activity at 60 per cent and gradually increase intensity over a few weeks. Also increase duration by 5-10 per cent per week.
- Skills training– Learn the correct technique and skill for the chosen sport. It’s important to learn these ahead of needing to perform the skills. Particularly with Rugby League it’s essential to learn the correct technique to avoid injury.
- 3. Keep hydrated – As the weather gets cooler it’s still important to remember to keep hydrated. Dehydration leads to muscular problems and injury.
- Winter months– Take extra care during the winter months of May, June and July when injury rates peak due to cold muscles, tendons and ligaments. Also take caution in cold weather conditions with wet and slippery surfaces.
- Consult a health professional – Meet with a Chiropractor and your GP to assess any pre-cursors or pre-existing injuries you are not aware of.The stronger, more balanced your body is going into a potential injury event, the quicker it’s going to recover and the injury will be less severe.
- Medibank Private. Safe Sports Report 2006. (Available from: https://www.theage.com.au/ed_docs/sport.pdf)