Our resident physio & Diva, Denise Godfrey, tell us how to prevent injuries this season.
Make sure you have recovered from previous injuries — this means complete a rehab program. A significant risk factor for injury is previous injury. You must regain:
full, pain free range of movement,
full strength in muscle lengthening and shortening activities,
complete endurance and speed training, and
regain stability to affected joints and ones above and below affected area.
If you are unsure how to achieve this, see a Physiotherapists who can design a program for you.
Improve your biomechanics
Muscles - If you have some tight, strong muscles and weak lengthened muscles you have muscle imbalance — eg: if buttock muscles are weak we compensate by over-using hamstrings in order to stabilise our pelvis. This leads to discomfort and sometimes damage to hamstrings. To treat this we strengthen the buttock muscles and hamstrings will relax.
Also if your body is out of alignment in some areas such as pelvis or ribs you will be unable to maintain muscle balance during movement. Good posture is key as well as appropriate exercises. your physio can assess your alignment and give you correct exercises.
Instability needs addressing with appropriate bracing / taping and stabilising exercises.
Stiffness requires stretches or joint mobilisations from a physiotherapist.
Foot biomechanics - Flat feet (pronation) or tight arch (supination) may need orthotics (insoles). Physiotherapits can fit you for these.
Improve / maintain fitness – Aerobic and Anaerobic. For aerobic work at 70-85 % of maximum heart rate. Calculate by 220 minus age. You should have kept this up during the off season. A great time to start is now attending the women's bootcamp or start some running slowly increasing the distance. yoga or pilates would be a great way to get your body ready for action in April!
Improve / maintain body weight and fat mass – exercise and a sensible diet.
Start with some skill training prior to the season beginning. During the season maintain basic conditioning and work on performance.
Always exercise to include a warm up (light jog and dynamic stretches followed by gradually increased speed of running), and afterwards perform a cool down (static stretches and light jog).
Now is the time to act! get injury free, improve fitness and stretch before and after exercise.Before you know it you’ll be on that soccer field wondering why it feels so hard to run!!!