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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can i prevent a sports injury?

    I haven’t played much sport recently and I have decided to start. What can I do to prevent a sports injury based on the fact that my body hasn’t done much physical activity recently?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Michael Cohen, Chiropractor is co-founder of the Chirosports Group one of Australia's leading groups of Chiropractors working together since 1994. Dr Michael Cohen Chiropractor … View Profile

    It's great to see that you are looking into creating the best outcome for peak performance and injury prevention before you return to sport. 

    I am sensing that you have some fear around pain and discomfort associated with exercise and physical activity.  This is very normal and in that this simple fear holds many people back from even starting exercise again, it's great that you are facing it.

    There are many reasons why injuries occur, and why pain and discomfort results from re-starting exercise.  Apart from the obvious collisions etc, your body needs to adjust in the first instance, and secondly, you need to be aware of the areas of strength and weakness in joints and muscles to know where your limitations are.  The problem with this is that most people have no idea if they have areas of joint or muscle instability because the body adapts so well until the pain threshold is reached.  One thing I like about Chiropractic is that it can identify areas of instability and weakness, help alignment and increase nerve energy flow even though you may have had no idea you were out of whack.

    I would suggest that you have a functional assessment with a Chiropractor to check your alignment, and subluxations you may have in your joints and to assess your flexibility, review old injuries and look into wear and tear and any degeneration that may exist so you can be best prepared for stepping back into sport and exercise.

    When you restart exercise your warm up and stretching is essential.  Start slowly and build up.  An Exercise Physiologist would be able to assist you, especially in the early stages to ensure that your exercise plan achieves results and helps to reduce the risk of pain and discomfort resulting from injury.

    I believe that health is your most important asset and that prevention is key.  Just like you will not be buff again from one session of exercise, your body needs care to maintain alignment and stability as well as optimal nerve flow, so if you do decide to see a Chiropractor I suggest you make sure you choose one who will be a support for life and someone that you trust to check you at least once a month as part of your own wellness routine.

    Good luck & all the best with your goals.

  • Dr Ryan Hislop


    Ryan Hislop is the Clinical Director at the Mudgee Chiropractic Health and Wellness Centre. As an experienced and evidence-based diagnostician, Ryan works largely by medical … View Profile

    Just to follow on from Dr Cohen, sporting injuries, particularly at higher levels are mainly prevented through stretching, strengthening and nutrition. These are commonly managed by a multi-disciplinary medical, paramedical and sports science management team.

    In a recent study in the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders on semi-elite AFL players, Pollard and Hoskins studied the trends of athletes and their injury rates. The study demostrated a trend towards lower limb injury preention with a significant reduction in lower limb muscle strains and weeks missed due to injury through the addition of a sports chiropractic intervention to the the current best practice management. 

    Hoskins & Pollard. The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2010.

  • Special interest include; Wellnes,nutrition, physical exercise, headaches and sports injuries. My aim is to improve the wellness and health of all my clients. View Profile

    Everything else above is spot on. Areas to also include is diet and rest. Diet although may not appear to help prevent injuries directly but it does indirectly. Exercise places forces and pressure on your muscles, joints and conective tissues. making sure you have a healthy diet allows your body to repair and minimizes injuries throuugh reduction in inflammation. A diet high in sugar and omega 6's, creates an inflammatory response in your body, increasing aches and pain. Supplementating with omega 3's (fish oil) is a great way to reduce inflammatory pathways. Ensuring you a have a diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables , protein from lean meats and adequate hydration (from water) will all create a healthy internal environment within you body. Thie will allow for your body to repair from the activity. Think about what a professional athlete does? They eat a high nutrient diet supplement where need to, ensure they have correct form and see a team of professionals (massage therapists, phyios, and chiropractors) to help keep their body in tip top shape :-D

  • Andrew Altin

    Exercise Physiologist

    To prevent a sports injury you should consider seeing an Exercise Physiologist who is accredited with ESSA (Exercise and Sports Science Australia).

    An Exercise physiologist will undertake an Initial assessment with you to evaluate your current health and fitness levels and then write a structured exercise program for you, to better prepare your body to return to your chosen sport.

    The program will take into account the following:
    *The physical demands of your chosen sport and level of competition in which you plan to compete at
    *Common injuries relevant to that sport and ways at preventing these injuries
    *Current strength levels
    *Current cardio and respiratory fitness
    *Muscular Imbalances
    *Warm up protocols before undertaking exercise and cool down protocols for returning your body back to a resting state
    *Body weight and size
    *Core strength and stability
    * Balance and proprioception (the body's ability to determine where a body part is in relation to another without using sight)
    And more

    By following a structured exercise program, several factors which can contribute to overuse and acute injury can be limited and avoided, reducing your chance of getting an injury whilst optimizing your sporting performance.

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