With another AFL football and netball season on the horizon, our local clubs in Pakenham, Berwick, Beaconsfield, Officer, Koo Wee Rup, Bunyip and surrounds start to gear up for their own pursuit for that September glory! But with an off season filled more by the “off” – enjoying the festive season rather than in the gym! – gearing up for another football season leaves many of our local players vulnerable to sports injuries, particularly soft tissue injuries.

How Can I Prevent Injury?

While there are no absolutes with injuries, we can decrease the likelihood of soft tissue injuries occurring by gradually increasing our training load.  Many players go from the couch to then emulating their training from the latter part of the previous season! Crazy!

Other strategies to minimise the risk of injury include:

  1. Adequate warm ups and cool downs,
  2. Strength training whether that include gym work or body weight exercises
  3. Cross training such as swimming or cycling which loads muscles differently. By strengthening the muscle it is better able to cope with the demand or load that is exerted on it during our chosen sport. 
  4. Compression shorts provide muscular stability reducing the force that is placed on muscles during strenuous exercise.  This can potentially decrease the likelihood of muscular strain, and further is has also been shown to assist in muscle recovery post exercise.
  5. Supplements such as Magnesium (the trusted magnesium brand we stock in the clinic is Ultramuscleze by Bioceuticals) have been proven to assist in muscle function meaning you to recovery faster.  This decreases the likelihood of muscle cramp/spasm which can lead to muscle strains.

What Do I Do If I Get Injured?

This will depend on the severity and location of the injury, however if during training or match day play you occur a soft tissue injury the first steps you should take for a soft tissue injury are the R.I.C.E (Rice, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method and seek evaluation and treatment from your local Osteopath or medical professional.

What Will An Osteopath Do To Help?

Osteopath’s can diagnosis and treat musculoskeletal injuries along with many others complaints using techniques such as soft tissue massage, gentle stretching, taping/bracing, joint mobilisation whilst also providing muscular strengthening/stretching exercises and home based management advice to assist in your recovery.

If the severity of the injury is significant enough osteopaths can refer for the necessary imaging or utilise our network of health care professionals to refer you to the appropriate health professional to get you back on the field sooner rather than later.

In Summary

  • Gradually increase training load
  • Always warm up before a session and cool down afterwards
  • Integrate strength training into your program
  • Cross train to maintain fitness but decrease chance of injury
  • Try compression shorts or supplements such as Magnesium if possible
  • RICE immediately if you sustain a soft tissue injury
  • Seek professional advice from an osteopath to help speed up your recovery

More Information on Sports Injuries

For more information on Osteopathy and Pakenham Osteopathy follow the links provided or call our friendly reception staff to enquire about how Osteopathy can assist you in achieving your sporting potential today!


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