Prevention is Better Than a Cure!
At MSK Sports Injury Clinic Newcastle we are great believers in the power of soft tissue therapy and its ability to help you recover from an injury but also its ability to help prevent an injury!
There are many forms of prevention when it comes to your physical conditioning.
You might be doing some of them already but if you aren’t – then this is the blog for you!
Professional athletes when they aren’t training are usually focusing on recovery. Their whole week is designed around getting the most out of each session but planning their activities and lifestyle to promote healing and recovery in order for them to be at their best.
It’s not just the pros – it’s also the ‘average joes’ that need to think about recovery. It might be from your exercise or it may be from your job. Ay repetitive task that you place your body under has the ability to wear your body and increase your chances of injury.
Your recovery is so important – it dictates how you will perform in the next session.
Fail to recover – then prepare for the worst.
Take a look at our top 4 prevention measures - some of them are better than others but if you put as much time in to maintenance and injury prevention you could see huge results in your training and day to day life.
1. A Good Diet
Let’s start with the most basic thing we can all be doing for all around good health. A good diet with the right amount of calories for your goal and the right amount of protein for repair of your body is essential.
If you aren’t eating enough vitamins and minerals from your diet your body will generally not operate as well and you won’t feel as good as you could do. Nutrient dense food such as fruit and vegetables helps to give your body the right fuel.
Protein however is one of the most important fuels for your body. Protein is essential for building muscle and its higher thermic effect means that your body uses calories trying to break it down!
Aim for around 1.5-2g of protein per Kg of bodyweight per day.
This is where we come in! Maintenance of your soft tissue and joints is vital for prevention.
Regular sessions which help to promote blood flow, improve range of motion and break down scar tissue can help the machine that is your body to work better. Check out our unique Combination Therapy treatment here at MSK Sports Injury Clinic as this produces the best results in the shortest amount of time.
Exercise can make the body tight, sore, and reduce its general function. Regular treatment helps to maintain your aches and pains but also prevent injury and improve performance. Other forms of self-maintenance can be things like float tank sessions and ice baths which can have an effect on your physical and mental recovery.
3. Load Management
This is the technique for designing all of your activity in a safe and measured way so that your performance is at its best and injury risk remains low.
All injuries can be avoided if load is managed correctly. For example – someone who starts training for the Great North Run 4 weeks before and tries to run 4-5 x per week will suffer an injury as they overload their tissues too quickly causing them to break down. Someone new to the gym trying to lift heavy weights they have never done before can sustain injury as they haven’t built gradually.
Managing your load is vital. If you exercise you should make sure that your sessions allow enough time for you to rest such as 3 x per week gym goers having a day off in-between each session. If you want to train more regularly think about your training spit and which body parts you train so you aren’t repetitively using them and fatiguing them too much.
If you do more than 1 type of exercise – think about how tired you will be from one and ensure you do them in the correct order, a good example of this would be doing heavier more intense sessions at the start of the week before playing football at the end of the week. Poor load management would be doing a heavy leg session on a Friday and then football on a Saturday – this is a recipe for disaster.
Plan your sessions intelligently!
The most overlooked and one of the simplest to do. Sleep is where the body repairs and cleanses itself of waste products ready for the next day.
You should aim for 8 hours per night. There is a recommendation of 6-8 hours but aim for as much as you can – not all sleep will be quality deep sleep. If you aim for more – the more chance you will get more of the better quality sleep.
Many professional football clubs now have sleeping quarters at their training grounds as sleep is the most powerful recovery tool there is.
There are many things you can do to help get a better night’s sleep:
- Ensure your bedroom is a cool temperature
- Use a sleep mask and/or ear plugs
- Stop electronic use 1-2 hours before bed
- Use blue light blocking glasses if you work at a computer or use your phone a lot
- Zinc and Magnesium supplementation
- Expose yourself to sunlight on a morning
- If you need a nap – take a nap.
- Limit caffeine use after 3pm
- Get in a routine each day for bed at a consistent time
Why Sleep is Important
That completes our guide to prevention and what you can be doing to make sure your recover better and avoid injury!
If you want a preventative care session – book online or give us a call.
If you think this blog can help someone you know – please share it.
Thanks from the MSK Sports Injury Clinic Team
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