Spring has well and truly arrived and with it a fresh training season. Many of you are already out training for your next big marathon or event. You have joined clubs, done your research. You know the best ways of training. You know how long to train for, how often, what way to eat and how much rest you need.
But despite your best efforts, sometimes you over train or under sleep or life gets in the way. Small niggles start to surface. As much as we would like to believe, these niggles don’t always go away on their own. The ‘no pain, no gain’ philosophy ignores the fact that pain is a warning sign. It is best to look at the signs before they develop into something more serious.
Injuries do happen and as much as possible you want to avoid them, so you can continue to train and participate in events and daily life. Common sense, correct footwear, good techniques all play a central role in avoiding injury. Addressing those niggling aches and pains early will identify any issues that could lead to injury and usually prevent any injury happening.
If you do an injury to yourself, early treatment will work in your favour to improve speed of healing and also aid a return to normal function. Your body does prioritize repair over function and it is only with correct intervention in the form of treatments, like massage and exercise working together, that correct function can be restored to the injured tissues and any future injuries avoided.
Prevention is the quickest, easiest and most cost effective, not to mention least painful way, of dealing with injuries. Sports massage is designed to maintain muscle balance and function at its optimal, keeping injuries at bay. Early treatment of injuries when they do happen is the next best thing. Lymph drainage massage can be used after 36-72 hours when there is still swelling and inflammation and will help reduce these and speed up the healing process. Once out of the acute phase of swelling and inflammation, sports massage will help restore correct function and range of movement to the injured site.
5 steps for dealing with injuries.
- Use correct training equipment, techniques and methods of training to minimise impact on your body and risk of injury.
- Listen to your body. Rest when you need to. Push when you can.
- Address any small pains or niggles early to prevent them developing into an injury.
- RICE – rest, ice, compression, elevation. When you have done an injury to yourself, follow RICE as soon as possible and seek attention to assess the damage.
- Seek early treatment of any injury to speed up recovery and maximize range of motion and function of the injured site going forward.