Injury Commandments

1) Don’t Wait:

Don’t wait for injuries to occur, don’t wait and hope ‘it will heal on its own’ and don’t wait to improve your performance and recovery. Prevention is the key. We ask a lot from our bodies day in day out at the gym and recovery is just as important as training - one without the other is pointless. One way to do this is by getting regular treatment to help keep your body functioning and deal with any imbalances before they become or cause injuries. Then, maintaining good functioning and helping with recovery by performing regular mobility training is key.

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 12.08.56.png

At some point during life or training you may get injured. That’s life.

Whether it’s a small twinge or enough to stop you training, don’t wait hoping it will heal on its own. It is true that some injuries can be self-limiting, SOME being the optimum word here. This is where your handy health professional comes in; they will diagnose your injury and give you a plan of action to get you back to training stronger and healthier.

If you do wait you must remember you have not fixed the problem. The reason for your injury occurring in the first place may still be present in your body or your daily activities, so there is a high likelihood of the injury re-occurring.

Attitudes towards injury should be with a long-term focus not a quick fix. Dealing with the injury, the cause of the injury and working to prevent this occurring again is what we do. This will, in the long-term, make you a stronger and more injury resistant athlete.

2) Pain:

Pain is an important factor for many people and for some pain can make even daily activities a huge struggle. With musculoskeletal injuries, however, it is important to know that pain is not an indication of the level of tissue damage. Remember a paper-cut can hurt like a mother*!

This works as both a positive; people can achieve amazing things while having significant injuries (such as soldiers in war zones/ ordinary people lifting cars). Negatively, this can mean that people experience high levels of pain with relatively small amounts of tissue injury.

If you are feeling pain, this is your bodies way of signalling that there is damage. It just does not necessarily indicate how much damage. It is because of this that, when accessing, we use objective measures on which to identify the level of injury and improvement

. For example, the range of movement you have compared to your uninjured or opposite side (compare right to left).
We aim to get you out of pain by treating the cause, not just the symptoms.


3) Medication/ Pharmaceutical Intervention:

It is important to know that pills and injections are not long-term solutions for pain or injury. They do not fix the problem. They block the signals telling your brain that there is tissue injury.

It is becoming common practice to recommend NOT using anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, in the early stages of healing musculoskeletal injuries (first 48 hours) as it prevents the body’s natural healing mechanisms (1).

A good recent study has shown that for preventing back pain EXERCISE is the most effective source (2). Getting active and listening to your body, with a focus on GOOD movement patterns can be hugely beneficial to recovery from injury and to prevent needing to take the medication.

Similarly, if you are taking pain medication to get through a workout, stop. If you are feeling pain then you are not healing. REST and limiting aggravating activities will help you on the road to recovery.


4) Mobility:

For a lot of people, the moment their therapist discusses mobility exercises they tend to switch off. Sure, they nod along and promise hand on heart to do them, but more often than not by the time their next appointment comes round, they have probably done them once or twice. Not going to cut it.

As much help as your therapist can give you each session, this could be maximised by completing the rehab or mobility training set by your therapist.

This is the same principle if you want to improve your performance. If you want to get stronger or you want to get faster, then you need to move better and more efficiently.

Better mobility will improve not only your performance and recovery, but also your health and potential prevention of injuries, leading to less lost training time. Winning.

5) Treatment:

We push our bodies everyday inside and outside the gym and they are amazing things, which are capable of truly great feats. Our bodies will always strive for health, compensating and performing even when they shouldn’t. Injury occurs when they can’t compensate anymore.

To keep our bodies functioning well and able to withstand life and training stresses, it is important to look after our bodies with some manual therapy.

Osteopathy is a hands on system of diagnosis and treatment, which can help a wide range of musculoskeletal complaints. It focuses on the principle that wellbeing is dependent on proper functioning of the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues.

It works to restore a state of balance within the body to improve your health and performance.


Meg Hersey

Sports Osteopath & Coach  

Please be in touch with our clinic for treatments or assessments