Sports carry the risk of injury, not just from nasty falls or being hit by a projectile ball, but from the repeated wear and tear they subject muscles to. Exercise may be good for you but overdoing it can cause a great deal of pain and even lasting damage.
The most vulnerable body part by far is the lower limb, more commonly known outside of physiotherapy as the leg. Injuries will put you out of action for weeks if not months, putting a serious dent in your training regime. Preventing leg injuries should be top priority for sportspeople, and when they do occur a visit to a lower limb specialist physiotherapist should be top priority:
Any sport which involves a lot of running or knee-bending puts you at risk of runner's knee. It feels like tenderness or intense stabbing pain behind the kneecap as it's caused by the kneecap failing to move smoothly over the surrounding tendons and bones.
To keep runner's knee at bay, ensure you wear suitable footwear during sports and increase the intensity of your running gradually. Don't up your running distance by more than 10% each week. If you do experience this sort of knee pain, don't try to run it off. A specialist physio may by able to tape your kneecap in place so it moves more smoothly while you rest your injury.
Many new athletes suffer from shin splints, aches which spread along the inner shin when previously-unused muscles become inflamed. This injury is common and often tolerable. You can strengthen the muscles by gently running, or switching to a lower-impact exercise like walking or swimming.
The Achilles tendon is the tough cord at the back of the foot. As it's so firm, it's very susceptible to pulls and tears, resulting in a combination of pain and inflammation known as Achilles tendinopathy or tendonitis. Sports which involve repetitive jumping are prone to causing Achilles tendinopathy, so take precautions if you regularly take part in them. Stretch before activities, gradually acclimatise to your training regime and wear footwear that suits the arch of your foot.
If you do injure your Achilles tendon it needs immediate rest. Keeping your leg elevated with plenty of ice will help reduce inflammation. As the tendon heals and scar tissue forms, a physiotherapist can help prevent future injury with the use of massage to make the scar tissue more supple. They will also be able to advise you on simple exercises that will strengthen the calf muscles and prevent future occurrences of Achilles tendinopathy.
To learn more, contact a company like Physiotherapy Sports & Rehab Clinic with any questions you have.