As Osteopaths, injuries associated with or exacerbated by sports, fitness and exercise are one of the more common complaints that come through our door. I am not talking about the elite athlete but simply the everyday person who like to play tennis, do a HIIT class or practice yoga who often struggles with injuries. We appreciate that there is nothing more frustrating than getting injured as it takes us away from what we enjoy, and it compromises our fitness, something that we work so hard to maintain!
When you exercise, suddenly you are demanding so much more of your body. Think about the load going through your knees when you run or quickly change direction, the strain through your shoulders and back whilst doing a deadlift or squat, or the pressure through your neck whilst attempting a headstand in yoga. Compare this to the demands on your body whilst sitting at a desk working a 40 hours week. It is significantly different.
To be able to run, throw, jump, sprint you need your muscles, joint, ligaments, tendons and nerves working efficiently to complete these movement patterns. Now presuming all these structures are working well, you’ll rarely have a complaint if your technique is reasonable. However, almost all of us have areas of our body that are not working perfectly. These compromised areas are often the result of poor ergonomics, behaviours, postures, or previous trauma, and may not bother us day to day, but as soon as exercise it becomes apparent.
So, the shoulder complaint you have when you do a Pump Class is often as a result of you reaching for the mouse all day at work. The knee complaint when you run is often as a result of you tucking your legs underneath the chair whilst sitting. And the lower back pain while you swing a golf club is often the result of standing all day with your weight going through one leg.
Our job as Osteopaths is to help these injured areas by ascertaining why they are vulnerable in the first place. We’ll review at your ergonomics; we’ll assess your postures and behaviours; we’ll consider your previous history and traumas. With appropriate and specific management, as well as Osteopathic care, there should be no reason why you can’t return to exercise with confidence in your body and those injuries will be a thing of the past.