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By Fiona Jacobs , Physiotherapist
How to Stay injury free whilst getting fit for summer
Let’s talk about how NOT to get injured.
The sun is shining. The winter has been a long one. You want to get into a bit better shape than you may currently be, but don’t want to injure yourself like last time you went on a fitness spree.
It happens to many of us.
You get motivated with a goal in mind. You may want to run a personal best time in 3 months?
Maybe you want to look a in a bit better shape for your wedding in 4 months time?
Maybe you need to be a bit faster and stronger to beat your best mate on the tennis court?
Whatever your goal is, you want to ramp up your current exercise regime. Great! But let’s talk about load management to minimise turning the fitness journey into an injury recovery journey.
If you have continued to exercise during the winter months then great. If you are starting out on an exercise programme its important to load our bodies in a way that doesn’t lead to breakdown and injury. Our muscles, joints, ligaments and bones love exercise but will take some time to cope with increasing loads with exercise.
What can predispose you to an injury in the future?
When looking at predisposing factors for injuries, there are always intrinsic and extrinsic factors to consider.
Extrinsic factors include
Changes in training load (volume, intensity, how rapidly progressed, fatigue, technique)
Surfaces (hard, soft or cambered)
Shoes (wrong type or worn out)
Intrinsic factors include
Bony malalignment factors
Sex, size and body composition
Our Physios are great at screening for the list of intrinsic/extrinsic factors that can predispose you to injury especially if you have had a previous lower leg injury. We will screen for these and build a programme to help modify the factors like muscle imbalances and decreased flexibility.
Let’s talk about load management.
Tim Gabbett, a sports injury researcher, has written extensively on his work about injuries in professional sport. He found a relationship between the rate of change of workload in one week (acute workload) and the average of the previous four weeks (chronic workload) that increases the risk of injury.
Professional sporting teams use expensive tracking devices to measure load but luckily you don’t need any fancy equipment. The easiest way is to multiply the perceived exertion (RPE – Fig 1.)) by the number of minutes of the workout and you have a measure of your workout. Add up the measurements for each workout over a week and you have a weekly workout total. Now do this over 4 weeks and average this out and you have a measure of the chronic workload.
If you have sustained an injury or are just keen on a targeted, individualised injury prevention program book in with one of our Physiotherapists today!
Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy
Melbourne Sports Physio has a range of qualified and experienced professionals who can help provide ongoing support and treatment. Our friendly team are located in across Melbourne in Essendon, North Melbourne and Blackburn South, and appointments can be made by calling or booking online.