If you are struggling with a sports injury that isn't getting better, or your progress is slower than you'd like to be, don't worry. You're not alone, and Omnia will soon get you moving in the right direction again. In fact, we see frequently people in your situation coming to us for the help they need, so we know what we are doing and you can trust the advice we give.
Why does my sports injury keep coming back?
When we pick up a sporting injury, like shoulder, hip, knee or ankle pain, we get very used to "running it off" and carrying on as normal, putting up with the pain. Sometimes we take the step to rest for a while, maybe because we think it will help, or because we've been told to rest by a health professional. So we wait until the pain goes away, only to find we're back to square one as soon as we go back to the sport we love, and that familiar niggle rears its head again. Disheartening, isn't it? This is such a familiar story to us when our clients come to us with muscle and tendon problems like torn hamstrings, groin strain, achilles tendinitis (or tendinopathy) and rotator cuff problems among others.
The problem is that we haven't taken any steps to identify why we have developed our sports injury, or taken any steps to address the cause. Resting without taking any positive action is rarely what we need to ensure a rapid recovery. Load management in which rehabilitation is gradually and methodically progressed is vital in the recovery sporting soft tissue injuries - you will find more specific information about tendon pain rehab in our blogs on recognising and curing achilles tendinitis.
Another common scenario we come across is when patients are confused about the cause of their symptoms - they may have been told many different things by many different people: "it's your back; it's your hip; it's your piriformis muscle...". Does this sound familiar to you too? It's very difficult to know what the best treatment is when you're not sure what's wrong.
How should my sports injury be treated?
In an ideal world, such as in professional sport, active rehabilitation is started straight away, even while the player is being "rested" from their sport. This positive approach ensures that the cause of the issue is identified and corrected, whilst strength and fitness are maintained by modifying their activities. This means that when the player resumes their activity, they don't find their injury flares up again because it was never properly treated, and they don't immediately pick up a different injury because they have lost their fitness.
At Omnia, we take the time to make sure we understand what is driving your particular problem, and we make sure we give you the tools you need to kickstart a rapid recovery. Not only will we use our expertise to diagnose what the issue is, but we will also work with you to keep you as active as possible, working out alternative ways to maintain your fitness. We will identify any underlying factors that might hinder your progress or cause a recurrence in the future.
Above all, we recognise how frustrating it is when you aren't performing as well as you like in your favourite sport because you are in pain, or when you aren't able to do it at all, and our goal is to get you back to it as soon as possible - but equipped to succeed not fail.
How can you help yourself recover from your sports injury?
Here are a few helpful suggestions to help get you on the road to recovery:
If you have been given exercises in the past, do them! The best exercises in the world will have no benefit whatsoever if you don't do them! If you have been given an exercise to increase your strength, you will need to persevere for a few months at least, so don't be disheartened when there is no effect after one week! Check out our blogs on running, tennis, cycling and skiing for advice tailored to these sports.
Don't rest completely! Whilst resting from the activity causing the problem is sound advice, resting too much will only prolong your recovery. Read our blog on why you shouldn't rest your knee pain. To enable you to get back to your sport you must maintain your overall condition so you can get back to match fitness sooner. Not only this, doing alternative cardiovascular exercise alongside your rehab exercises will help you maintain a healthy circulation, essential for healing. Many elite athletes benefit from regular Pilates practice alongside training for their sport as it is ideal exercise for cross-training.
Get professional advice quickly. Don't waste potential recovery time resting, or taking pain killers, in the hope that your injury gets better on its own, only to find it keeps coming back, time after time (and usually worse!). It might even start affecting more and more of the things you enjoy, like spending time with the family or interfere with work. Come and see one of the team at Omnia for an assessment - we are all experienced in treating sports injuries and are all involved in sports ourselves (check out our profiles in our Meet the Team section), so we completely understand your desire to get back to full participation in whatever it is that makes you tick.
For more information, download our free guide which contains strategies for treating the most common sports injuries we see at Omnia: Week by week tips to help you recover from 8 common sports injuries… without pain killers or supports
If you want help so you know what to do to maximise your progress, and reduce your reliance on pain killers or supports or braces when you exercise, book an appointment with one of our expert physiotherapists now! Click here to see instantly what appointments are available to book, and get your recovery started!