Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Staying Injury-Free

One of the key goals for all athletes in my squad is to remain injury-free. The risk of injuries is avoidable if it is proactively managed. For example risk factors which contribute towards hamstring injuries include:
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of race fitness
  • Previous hamstring injury
  • Poor flexibility of hamstrings or quadriceps
  • Poor eccentric strength
  • Weak at end-range (lack of strength when the muscle is in a lengthened position)
  • Strength imbalance between left and right
  • Dominance of quadriceps strength over hamstrings
  • Subtle back injuries – such as slipped disc, weak core
As part of the Preparation phase in this year's Training Programme I urge all squad members to obtain a full biomechanical checkup from a qualified physiotherapist. This will help ensure any potential weaknesses are identified before they can turn into a painful injury. It is illegal to drive a car on the road without first obtaining a full MOT - the same applies to the High Performance body of an athlete - get a check-up before you get on the track if you want to avoid any major injuries. A biomechanical checkup will take approximately 45 minutes to complete. The physiotherapist will ask you a few questions related to your history of injuries and they will ask you to perform some straightforward tests to evaluate muscle strength and flexibility etc. Costs can vary. I recently paid £52.00 which is cheaper than most branded trainers. At the end of the checkup the physiotherapist will provide you with a copy of their findings plus recommendations for exercise drills which will help address identified areas of concern. Please do share this report with your coach because this will help to ensure the training plan is specific to your needs.

A biomechanical checkup can be obtained from the Crystal Palace Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre.

The Crystal Palace Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre is an award winning multi-disciplinary practice, with over 20 years experience.
In one of the few purpose built facilities of its kind in the country, you will have access to:
  •     Physiotherapy
  •     Sports Massage
  •     Podiatry
  •     Doctors,
  •     Pilates.

Having recently used the Crystal Palace Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre, I am more than happy to recommend George Martin to athletes in the squad.

Ref: Dr Leon Cleaney, Athletics Weekly, July 27th 2011.