With the start of the new school year and with many ‘winter’ sports starting again, it’s time to talk about being injury free this season. Here are some simple key points that will help with injury prevention.

1. Warm up before exercise and ‘cool’ down after exercise. Warming up means raising the heart rate slightly so the muscles begin to ‘warm up’. Cooling down means slowly lowering the heart rate and allowing the muscles’ waste products (e.g. lactic acid) to be removed. Warm ups and cool downs should include gentle stretching and releasing of muscles and may also include a warm bath or shower after exercise. It’s also really important to keep hydrated (and to re-hydrate after exercise). Prior to starting exercise, stretches should be dynamic to “oil” the joints and afterwards, stretches should be static.

2. Too much repetition in training can lead to overuse injuries such as tennis elbow or achilles tendinopathy. Mix up your training. Try some Yoga or Pilates, head to the gym or swim. Training for your sport is vital of course but variety is a positive way to prevent injury.

3. Footwear and other sports gear – check you have the correct footwear. Make sure it is supportive and keeps your foot in a ‘good’ position. Make sure that you also use all the correct protective sports equipment relevant to your sport.

4. Do not push your body beyond your current fitness level. It takes time to build up fitness – it’s always best to continue with training or exercise over the summer period so that your fitness is maintained throughout the year.

5. Make sure you receive the appropriate coaching so that you can learn correct techniques if you are taking up a new sport.

And finally…do not play or train through pain!!

Stop and seek advice and treatment from a Physiotherapist. Playing or training through pain may make an injury worse and it may then take longer to recover from.

Call and make an appointment now with one of the physios at Silver physio on 020 3637 8988 to enable a personalized programme to be created.