Many times, sports injury prevention can be obtained with pre-season conditioning, using proper form and technique and learning to listen to your body’s warning signs. Instead of worrying about getting back in the game if injured, learn how to stay in the game, get stronger and improve your performance.
A conditioning program specifically designed for your sport should begin months before the start of your season. The sport itself should not get you into shape; pre-season training programs should start slowly building your strength and endurance with ‘rest days’ between training sessions to allow the body to heal itself. A rushed reconditioning program with repetitive stress being placed on the muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and bones, will find athletes more susceptible to sprains, pulled muscles, fractures, shin splints and other sports injuries.
Proper technique and form can reduce the risk of injury and decrease muscle tension and weakness. Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation (NMR) uses a functional movement assessment that finds the weak link or physical imbalances within primary movement patterns inherent in all sports. If the weak link in your movement pattern is not identified, the body will compensate causing inefficient movements that can decrease your performance and increase your risk of injury. Each person has their own movement pattern; some are functional while others are dysfunctional causing muscle imbalance, tension, weakness and the risk of injury. A corrective exercise program at NMR will be tailored to the results of your functional movement assessment to pinpoint and rehabilitate weakness in your movement pattern. Determining where your imbalanced strength and flexibility is before you feel the pain enables you to focus on strengthening and rehabilitating your weak link to prevent that injury that puts you on the Disabled List.
The functional movement assessment is not only beneficial to athletes. People who suffer from chronic musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck and shoulder region pain and stiffness, hip and knee problems) along with other long standing injuries that haven’t rehabilitated properly, can be more susceptible to injury by guarded (dysfunctional) movements that compensate for the imbalances. As people age they may find that their flexibility and endurance is not quite what it used to be and changing your movement pattern to compensate for stiffness, and aches and pains associated with aging, can also put one at greater risk. By listening to your body’s warning signs and utilizing the results of the functional movement assessment, NMR can help build your strength, endurance and flexibility by developing an individualized treatment program which takes into consideration your body’s specific needs.
Preventing injuries will help you stay in the game, whether it’s the game of life or your favorite sport. If you are injured, NMR’s rehabilitation program will help you get back in the game sooner, but by learning how to prevent injuries from happening in the first place, and helping you design a fitness routine to minimize the chance of injury you’ll be able to stay in the game, get stronger, improve your performance and enjoy Better Health, Better Life!
Dr. Jeremy L. Cohen PT, DPT CIDN PES FMTC FMSC specializes in rehabilitating patients with orthopedic and sports injuries as well as patients recovering from various surgeries. Dr. Cohen is a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and has achieved an advanced certification in Fascial Movement Taping and is also certified in integrative dry needling as well as in performing functional movement screenings.