Exercise is associated with numerous health benefits and is a great way to keep in shape, both physically and mentally. If you have not done much exercise for a while it's a good idea to gradually build up and tend to those bothersome aches. If you have had a strain or sprain while exercising it is better to get it seen to ASAP to stop reoccurrences or the problem worsening.
The importance of stretching
Many people under-estimate the value of stretching before and after exercise, and many muscular strains could be avoided by stretching and warming up properly. Unfortunately even if you do everything correctly accidents can occur during sports or other exercise, from relatively minor strains to concussions.
Your Achilles heel?
The only weak point on the Greek hero Achilles was said to be his heel, or ankle. This isn't only the stuff of myth, a rolled ankle or ankle sprain is one of the most commonly seen sport injuries. Sports that have you jumping or changing direction quickly put you at risk, but walking or running on uneven ground can also lead to ankle injuries.
Sprained ankles may seem innocuous, but studies have shown that they can lead to chronic pain, arthritis and disability later in life. A sprained ankle needs to be given some time to recover, so walking it off is not a good idea. You also need to give your body a chance to heal itself, so taking anti-inflammatories in the days after an ankle injury isn’t advisable as they interfere with your body's natural healing process. Instead stop exercising immediately, prop it up, apply ice for up to 20 minutes and use a support bandage.
If you have had a strain or sprain while exercising it is better to get it seen to ASAP in order to correctly diagnose the problem, to stop recurrences or the problem worsening. Your osteopath can also advise you on stretching and strengthening exercises. To prevent you from re-rolling your ankle your osteopath will give you balance training exercises as well.
Conditions we treat
At the clinic common sporting injuries that we see include:
- tennis or golf elbow
- sprained ankles
- knee injuries
- plantar fasciitis
- shin splints
- pulled muscles
- hip and groin strains
- shoulder/rotator cuff strains
- low back strains
- achilles tendonitis
How can osteopathy help?
Osteopathy can correct underlying alignment problems that may cause injury as well as helping to control swelling and inflammation and allow the body to heal faster with adequate circulation to the area. If you can't get to an osteopath due to being on holiday the best things you can do to help with pain and inflammation is follow the acronym RICE: Rest, Ice and heat interchanged, Compression and Elevation). Using a quality fish oil and putting on an arnica rub will also help. If it is just a muscular strain interchanging ice and heat will help along with gentle stretching of the area.