Preparing for Spring Sports
The air is warmer, the day is getting longer and spring sports season is almost upon us. If you plan on lacing up your basketball shoes or hitting the track to run, our Orleans physiotherapists also recommend creating a pre-season training regimen so you'll be ready to compete by the time tryout day comes or your season opener arrives.
Whether you are a master level athlete, play the occasional pickup game with friends or simply wat to live a fit and healthy lifestyle, sports injuries can happen to anyone at any time, and getting injured can also present a major obstacle to continuing your season.
Being smart about how you prepare for your season can help you prevent injuries, many of which have sidelined players and caused significant pain and discomfort.
Today, we'll explain how to safely prepare for your upcoming sports season, share some sports injury prevention tips and explain how physical therapy can help.
How to Safely Prepare for Your Spring Sports Season
There are a few measures you can take to prepare your body so it's ready for the physical challenges and punishment a season of sports brings. While you may have decreased your physical activity during the winter, diving into an intense round of tryouts can put you at risk for an injury unless you train properly.
We recommend spending time strengthening key muscle groups and engaging in activities that simulate sports movements well before kickoff on your opening day. Book 2 to 6 weeks of pre-season training to help prepare your body for the season ahead.
Don't over-stress your body.
If you increase your activity levels too quickly after a period of rest or low activity, you may be at risk of an over-stress injury - some of the most common injuries athletes suffer in these cases.
While you're gearing up for opening day, listen to your body, go easy on yourself, and gradually boost your activity levels while continuing your regular training. Similar to how you'd train for a marathon, slowly increase your distance and build your stamina so you'll have endurance during tryouts or the season opener.
Recognize and treat pain and discomfort.
Stretching and using those muscle groups again may have you feeling a little sore as you adapt to your training regimen. That said, there's a risk of this soreness leading to injury if a muscle becomes overstressed.
Do not attempt to play through pain or injury, as you may end up sidelined for an extended period - potentially the season. Instead, we strongly recommend using rest, ice, heat and/or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. You might also consider staggering your workouts and training sessions to exercise different muscle groups while protecting others.
Inspect your sports gear.
If your cleats, gloves or workout gear have seen better days, it's time for an upgrade. Worn out or unsupportive gear or equipment can malfunction and lead to injuries.
Consider physiotherapy at MotionWorks Physiotherapy in Orleans.
If you'd like to improve your athletic performance, prevent injuries or are in the process of recovering from one, physiotherapy can help.
Part of your pre-season sports injury prevention should always involve visiting a physiotherapist for an injury risk assessment.
Pre and post-season physiotherapy assessments at our clinic in Nepean include a comprehensive examination of how your muscles are balanced to ensure your body is functioning optimally. We can also help with sports injury rehabilitation, by treating both acute and chronic sports injuries with exercises, acupuncture, dry needling, over-the-counter braces and more.
Discuss any previous injuries and your training concerns with your physiotherapist. Together, you can develop an individualized sport-specific exercise program designed to restore proper muscle tension and length in addition to strength and proprioception to reduce your risk of injury and improve overall performance.