With the last couple of years in the Covid pandemic, people have started picking up new sports, hobbies or activities due to not being able to go to the gym or putting on a few pounds with all the furlough and being on lockdown. With this in mind, we have noticed in the clinic more and more soft tissue injuries coming through our doors. With an added bonus of our very hot summer so far, people are taking up more outdoor activities. Injuries often occur when people suddenly increase the duration, intensity, or frequency of their activities. Many soft-tissue injuries can be prevented through proper conditioning and training.
So here are some top tips to avoid soft tissue injuries for the rest of the summer and going into the winter season.
1. Use proper equipment. Make sure you wear comfortable, loose-fitting and breathable clothes while exercising. It is really important to be able to move freely but also clothes allow body heat to escape. Wearing the correct style of shoe is also really important. It is always a good idea to take a look at your feet, do you have a flat or high arch? If so it is important to wear shoes that support this or some insoles. There are many places now that can advise on what style of shoe to wear in relation to your feet!
2. Develop a balanced fitness programme that incorporates cardiovascular, strengthening and flexibility exercises. Add activities and new exercises cautiously. Whether you have been sedentary or are in good physical shape, do not try to take on too many activities at one time.
3. Stay hydrated! I even mean before, during and after exercising. Inside your body is mainly made out of water! It is important to prevent dehydration and keep those muscles, ligaments and joints as hydrated as possible.
4. Make sure you warmup and cool down. If you’re thinking about going for a run, then for example you can start with a fast paced walk into a jog and then your main event, the running! After that, make sure you cool off with a short walk and some stretching whilst your muscles are warmed up.
5. Stretching. Ah yes, stretching can be a little boring, but fundamentally it is so important!
6. Rest. Schedule regular days off from vigorous exercise and rest when tired. Fatigue and pain are good reasons not to exercise
7. Avoid the “weekend warrior” syndrome. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you are truly pressed for time, you can break it up into 10-minute chunks instead of doing all your exercise crammed into one weekend.
If you have recently injured yourself or maybe it is an old soft tissue injury that is still niggling you, then please get in touch with our wonderful reception team and they’ll be happy to help book you in for an assessment or even a free 15 minute call if you feel you’re not sure if physiotherapy will help you.
As always, Thank you!
Jessica Reed (BSc, SRP, MCSP, AACP)
Specialist MSK Physiotherapist