Muskoskeletal or MSK injuries are common not only in elite athletes but also in those who practice strenuous activities such as martial arts. Injuries are bound to happen, they key is really prevention!
There are quite a few causes for injury: cold, fatigue, poor nutrition, static stretching pre-event, dehydration, improper or lack of warm up, overuse of muscles, improper form and trauma. Many of these preventative measures are things needed to be remembered and worked on daily such as remembering to eat right, drink enough water throughout the day and getting enough sleep at night. It is recommended to drink 8 glasses of water and get 8 hours of sleep nightly. When training or doing activities remember to consume more than the minimum require about to stay hydrated. In terms of nutrition one should consult with the Canada’s Food Guide to ensure they are getting the right amounts or consult with a professional for nutrition counselling to get more personalized information if needed.
The same goes with stretching and proper form. Although it is pricey, getting a trainer or expert in the field to show you proper stretches and moves will benefit in the long run of injury prevention. Even 10 minutes of dynamic stretching is sufficient to increase performance, i.e. flexibility, power, strength, speed & skill, as well as range. Static stretching at the end of training is beneficial to improve one’s range of motion. Warming up before training is necessary preparing your muscles and body for intense activity. It slightly increases your heart rate, core temperature and the flow of blood and oxygen to your muscles. Just as we warm up our cars in the winter to defrost before getting on the road this process of preparation for your muscles and tendons is crucial to prevent harm.
Examples of dynamic stretches are:
- Front to Back Leg Swings: Hold on to something to keep stable. Move your leg forwards and back while keeping the other on the floor. Do this on each leg.
- Sideways Leg Swings: The same concept as front leg swings but sideways.
- Walk-outs: Stand up straight, while keeping legs straight walk your hands out into plank position, then walk back up to straight.
- Lunges with rotation: after lunging forward twist your torso in the direction of the leg that is bent.
- Arm Swings: swing your arms out and in, crossing them over each other.
When injury does occur it is important to get attention as soon as possible to prevent worsening of the injury. Key signs of serious injury are inflammation and debilitating pain. Rehabilitation is useful with minimizing and preventing the buildup of scar tissue and restoring regular movement and physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments do just this. Chiropractors can offer laser and ultrasound treatments to heal scar tissues and coinciding that with physiotherapy treatments is beneficial in returning back to normal performance and range of motion.
Here at the Madison Sports Injury Clinic we offer chiropractic treatment, physiotherapy, kinesiology, naturopathy and massage therapy (RMTs), for all recovery needs. And remember prevention with optimize your fighting!