Guess what? Summer is close. That means the summer sun is rising and the summer sports are dusting off their gear ready for another action-packed season.
With the warmer weather finally approaching our motivation and activity levels begin to peak. However, with an increase in physical activity comes an increase in injury. Due to the types of sports and activities that we participate in over the next few months, we see a higher prevalence of specific types of injuries.
The 3 most common summer injuries include:
1. Overuse shoulder injuries
Whether is competitive game in the backyard or out of the field, every Aussie loves a game of cricket on a warm summer’s day. Cricket, along with other sports where there is repetitive use of increased overhead motions such as swimming or surf lifesaving, can often lead to pain or injuries within the shoulder. There are many shoulder pathologies that can essentially be the source of the pain, however, overuse injuries is a broad term used to cover this.
2. Patella-femoral pain (PFP)
Patellofemoral pain is again a broad term used to describe pain at the front of the knee and around the kneecap. This is most seen in cyclists and runners, or people who participate in activities with lots of jumping and landing. Cardiovascular fitness, such as the activities mentioned above are a great way of keeping in shape and coming into summer there is a significant increase in people starting these programs. Unfortunately, there is a sudden increase in this high-impact activity causing pain if the body isn’t sufficiently conditioned. PFP can account for upwards of 25-40% of knee pain presentations in a private clinic.
3. Ankle injuries
Another injury that has become a common theme we see within the practice during summer is ankle injuries. Summer sports that involve high amounts of agility, such as touch football, oz-tag, or leisure activities such as skateboarding or bushwalking are usually major contributors. Uneven tracks and sporting fields provide the perfect place for ankle sprains. Most commonly, the most common ligaments that are damaged in a sprained ankle are the ones on the outside of the ankle.
Maximising the summer season:
A sustainable, solid, and progressive pre-season training regime is paramount to maximise performance and reduce the risk of injury. Our physiotherapists put their heads together and came up with some key benefits in completing a pre-season training program.
1. Improve your fitness
It is a common occurrence that during the off season, your level of match fitness and conditioning reduces. There is an overwhelming amount of research that supports the notion that a pre-season training regime will help you maintain or even improve your level of fitness and performance.
2. Reduce your risk of injury
Using spare time in the lead-up to a season is a great time to start preparing for the upcoming rigours of the sport. This will help prevent injuries when the season starts. In turn, you will be fit and ready for the physical demands expected of you. A sport-specific, balanced training program will improve your strength so your muscles and joints can handle sudden and large forces. A specific program will also increase your endurance, allowing you to play for longer, move quicker and increase your range of motion by becoming more flexible. As physios, we regularly find that niggling injuries that have plagued athletes the previous season can re-occur as training advances.
Unfortunately, rest over the off-season, is not enough to address these injuries. Your performance will continue to be hampered due to the lingering mechanical inefficiencies and imbalances that formed during the original injury. Seeking treatment from a physiotherapist before the season starts will help to address the issue and allow you to start the season off on the right foot.
3. Improve your skill development
A consistent and gradual pre-season program allows you to be at your very best when the season begins. It helps you rebuild and enhance your technique, working on many elements of the game that you want to improve. It will aid performance and helps prevent injury.
If you believe this relates to you, don’t hesitate to book now with one of our physiotherapists.