Many athletes have been injured at some point during their athletic career. It’s just a part of playing sports. From ankle sprains to injuries that require surgery, no injury is too small to benefit from physical therapy and the correct strength and conditioning (S&C) program.
With the new sports season fast approaching, now is the time to focus on the athlete’s return to sport by creating a S&C program to prevent injury and to provide optimum performance.
Firstly, establishing the athlete’s risk of injury is paramount. This is achieved by completing a full body assessment looking at the athletes’ posture, range of motion and functional abilities. Once achieved, proper steps can be taken to reduce the identified risk. Though we cannot predict injuries; since many variables come into play including external factors, we can certainly attempt to lower the risk.
If a previous injury has been identified, without the correct intervention, this can increase your risk of re-injury or create a new injury. By understanding the current or previous injury, a suitable strength and rehabilitation program can be designed to make the affected area stronger and ready for the physical demands of the sport.
Your posture plays a key role in how your body moves efficiently. Efficient and economical movement means that the athlete can move faster and can conserve energy for later in their event. Inefficient movement causes the athlete to move more to compensate for poor posture; this takes time and requires more work. Less energy is then available for later in the event. Some of the biggest contributors to poor posture are incidental, such as sitting or studying, driving, eating and sleeping.
After the athletes’ posture has been analysed, the next step is to look at their range of motion and whether their range is limited or excessive. Both of these factors can increase the risk of injury. Having limited range of motion can cause other body parts to compensate resulting in overload and injury. On the other hand, excessive joint range will stress the joint more, make it less stable, and can also result in injury.
This is where an S&C program is essential for any aspiring athlete. The strength and conditioning discipline provides services to numerous areas such as; speed, agility, endurance, strength, flexibility, stability, injury prevention and management, and rehabilitation for the purposes of enhanced athletic performance during competition.
A well-designed S&C program will develop correct exercise skills or drill techniques. It will increase the strength base of all athletes. The program will be individualised to address an athlete’s specific strengths and weaknesses, as well as improve sports specific movements and techniques through agility and speed sessions. The athlete’s physical conditioning will improve through sport specific conditioning sessions.
If you would like to know more about how our Allied Health Professionals at Moreton All Body Care can help you, please give us a call or drop in to one of the practices, and we would be happy to talk to you.