Training When Injured

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By Physiotherapist, Nate Chan

I am injured. What should I do?

If you have or had an injury in the past, you may have been wondering how much training you should be doing without aggravating your injury. 

The general rule of thumb I recommend is a strategic and progressive loading. In simple terms, avoiding sharp increases in frequency, volume or intensity. I have learned this both from my clinical experience and the work of Adam Meakins, a fellow physiotherapist in the UK. Adam has simplified two common behaviours of an injury athlete: avoiders and endurers. 

  • Avoiders: the athletes who avoid and do NOT enough during an injury

  • Endurers: the athletes who endure the pain and do TOO much during an injury

After sustaining an injury it is important to rest and modify. During this ‘rest’ time I would recommend keeping the frequency of training the same or the number of training sessions per week the same. However, reducing the volume (total reps and sets) and intensity (physical and mental effort) of the workouts. What this means is that you can still enjoy training and the benefit of training without imposing more risk on the current injury. 

For the Avoiders: The purpose of keeping your training frequency the same or similar, whilst reducing your total volume and intensity is to safely train whilst obtaining all the exercise benefits. Some of these benefits are muscle hypertrophy, improving your mood, boosting your immune system, and increasing cardiovascular fitness. Once you are able to commence full training at least it won’t be a shock to the system.

For the Endurers: Less is more. Less is sometimes better. What I mean is less in regards to volume and intensity. This is termed modified training. This allows you to rest to allow the injury to recover. No one goes to work 5 days a week without sleep. Sleep is rest. Your body (injury) needs rest too. 

Takeaways

The key takeaway is to continue training whilst supporting your recovery journey. The aim is to reduce sharp increases in training load to return to the field, court, track or gym. However, respecting the body’s need for rest and recovery is of the utmost importance. If you draw yourself closer to the middle of this spectrum during training with an injury you would gain a good outcome and function. 

Please speak to a health professional. This is a guide as an injury varies amongst individuals and depends upon many factors (training history, previous injuries, stress levels, weather and many more). You can book in for a telehealth session with one of our physios online or call to book in at 8599 9811. 

 
 
 

Your Core and Its Benefits 

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By Physiotherapist, Vanessa Boon

Do More With a Strong Core

Did you know that in most activities, your core muscles activate prior to movement? Also, a weak core is one of the main causes of lower back pain/injuries. Besides back issues, a weak core can play a part in other injuries. For example, most exercises work your core as a secondary muscle e.g squats, overhead press, and deadlifts. Having a weak core will affect your form and increase your risk of injury.

Think about it this way, your core is your foundation. You need a strong foundation before you build anything on top of it. The stronger your foundation, the bigger and taller the building can be. 

What are some of the benefits of having a strong core? 

Your back is happy!

  • Most of us would have experienced lower back pain at some point in our lives. If you have not, you are part of the lucky 20% out of the entire population! Whether you have or have not experienced any form of back pain, we should all work to keep our backs as healthy and happy as possible for as long as possible. 

Improvement in posture 

  • Good sustained posture is also beneficial for your back. It reduces the amount of unnecessary load on your spine and can potentially slow down the rate of degeneration on your spine. 

Allows you to do what you want/need to!

  • Think about your hobbies, the sports you enjoy playing, your workout habits, and even daily household chores – most of these activities require a certain amount of core strength or are generated from your core.  

Reduces your risk of falls 

  • Your core is essential in balance and stability. It is one of the main muscles that help you stand on one leg without falling over. As we get older, we start to lose balance, which increases our risk of falling. By keeping your core strong, you can decrease fall risks and keep doing what you love longer! 

There is no disadvantage to having a strong core. If you need help in creating a program or help starting out with basic core exercises, give us a call at 85999811 to book in to see one of our physiotherapists or exercise physiologists today!

When Is Too Much? Subjective Pain Scale

podiatry BOSIC

By Physiotherapist, Paulina Backiel

 

When is too much? How much can my body handle?

When you go to the physio, you might think, “why on earth are they asking me an endless amount of questions?” If only answering these questions could get you points to win money like in the game of “Who wants to be a Millionaire” – am I right?

Well, the reason that physiotherapists do this is that each individual is different. There may be similar patterns that we find with each injury we see, but there will always be that slight difference in everyone’s journey and recovery.

The human body is amazing, it can heal itself or adapt to anything that life throws at it. But just like us, it can fall into the wrong habits and adapt to improper use of muscles or loading. 

Let’s take running as an example.

Your body will have an idea about the proper mechanics of running which we all learnt as children. The only thing is, if you have been working at a desk job that makes you sit for 8+ hours a day, there could be a possibility that you may not have gone for a run for quite some time. Regardless, you still get up and run and to your surprise, it feels absolutely great (well that was easy). Now you’re getting to the last kilometre of your run, and whilst you’re thinking “I used to run 5km so I should be able to do it now right?”, your calves get super tight and your knee begins to feel a bit niggly.

Sound familiar?

This is a great example of how your body has the capability to keep you upright. However, it does come down to two things:

1. BIOMECHANICS: the mechanism your body is using that is causing the knee pain is not right
2. THRESHOLD: the calf muscles are not used to having that much load put on them.

SUBJECTIVE PAIN SCALE

Below is the pain scale that I introduce to all my patients on how to stay safe whilst exercising.

It is scaled out of 10, where 0 indicates no pain, 1 would be a mild irritation, and 10 being excruciating pain.   
           
0-2 / 10 | SAFE ZONE
You can keep doing the exercise you are doing, the pain would come down to the fact that the exercise is stressing the body.

3-4 / 10 | CAUTION ZONE
3/10 for some is still considered safe but a good indication not to increase the intensity of your exercise.
4/10 is when your body is telling you to decrease intensity of your exercise. Modify it to see if the pain subsides.

5+ / 10 | DANGER/HIGH RISK ZONE
In this zone you are at a high risk of injury if you continue what you are doing. As an example, if this were a runner, I would immediately stop and just walk.

So guys, stay safe and keep exercising 🙂

If you feel like you may have injured yourself or you are in pain, click HERE to book in with one of our practitioners now!

Sports henias: What are they and how can you prevent them?

exercise physiology BOSIC

By Physiotherapist, Nate Chan

What is a sports hernia?

A sports hernia is a weakening of the lower abdominals. Essentially, it is a strain or tear of any soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) in the lower abdominal or groin area due to an imbalance. The most common mechanism of injury is through a rapid change of direction or rotational (twisting) movement.

 

Sports hernias aren’t so different to the traditional inguinal hernias as they both occur in the same region. However, unlike the common inguinal hernia, a sporting hernia cannot  be felt via a bulge in the lower abdominal area. 

 

We do not own the right to this image. Image retrieved from Daily Mail.

 

What does a sports hernia feel like?

Typically you may feel severe pain during the time of injury, and persistent pain with any twisting or intense abdominal contraction. Whilst not doing any strenuous activity it will not be bothersome. However, during intense activity or movements the pain will re-emerge. If not taken care of, a sporting hernia may evolve into a more common inguinal hernia. 

 

If you have trouble or experience pain getting out of bed (sit up position) or turning whilst carrying heavy groceries (twisting). There’s an increase in likelihood of a sporting hernia, where further investigation by your health professional might be necessary. Medical imaging may be required, as well.

 

How do you prevent and manage a hernia?

Unfortunately, there is no specific prevention other than keeping your core strength in balance. Here are some exercises to minimise the risk of this of suffering a sports hernia:

      • Side planks

      • Contralateral lunges

      • Squats

      • ½ kneeling medicine ball press

      • Glute bridges on a bosu board

 

If you feel you may have a sports hernia or another type of injury, book in to see one of our physios today. Give us a call at 8599 9811.