Exercise and sports are generally good for a human, but sometimes it can go wrong.
Sports injuries occur. In most cases, the complaints disappear within a few days, sometimes in a few weeks and sometimes they are present years later.
Exercise should help you perform better in your life without pain, more relaxation, and more energy. You feel better, you look better and you are stronger both physically and mentally. That is the power of sports and exercise. However, if you are constantly working around aches and pains. If your muscles and joints feel stiff, tight and painful despite of all the training, and you feel tired all the time, you are probably doing something wrong and it is time to get help.
How do sports injuries occur?
In short, you could say that if the force that is placed on a certain tissue (muscle, tendon, band or bone) exceedsthe maximum load capacity of that tissue, there is an overload.
A small dosed overload because of training is good. You need this overload to become stronger, faster and bigger.
However, when the load exceeds the capacity too much, the tissue will not be able to absorb the force. This results in trauma or injury. This trauma or injury can occur on microscopic level (a strain), as well as larger injuries like a full muscle tear, ligament rupture or even a bone fracture.
In this image you can see the common sites where sports injuries occur. The most common sports injuries are knee and ankle injuries. These injuries are common in field sports and running.
On the other hand, in fitness and gyms, you often see shoulder injuries and back / spine injuries are more common.
The biggest predictor for injuries is previous injury. So if you’ve ever hurt your ankle or back before, it is likely that area is re-injured again in the future. Many people accept this, but they shouldn’t. By training the position or positions you got injured in, you can make that weak spot a strong spot! We can help you with that!
Can you prevent sports injuries?
Yes and no. Sports injuries cannot be prevented 100%. Whether or not a sports injury occurs depends on both internal and external factors. We often have little to no influence over the external factors. An opponent who hits you in a wrong spot, or something you trip over and fall.
That does not change the fact that there is a lot you can do yourself to prevent sports injuries.
What can you do yourself to prevent sports injuries?
Often, with sports injuries it is not so much overuse, but under-recovered. People often go too fast, too hard and too heavy. This prevents your body from recovering properly from the training or load.
To recover faster, there are several things you can do yourself:
- Eat healthy. Cliche but true.
- Sleep more. Your body recovers during sleep
- Train your rotation capacity. Rotation is essential for healthy joints. However, most exercises and machines in a gym are linear. This rotation principle applies to all joints outside your spine. Your spine health starts with bending and extending.
- Breathing exercises. Breathing exercises help you to be more relaxed. This way you can recover optimally. Your body has to be in a relaxed state in order to recover.
- Heat / cold exposure. This improves circulation. increased circulation inmproves nutrients and oxygen transport to your muscles and cells. This allows them to recover more optimally.
By focusing on recovery and training smarter, you can often get the same, or even more results with less training.
Whether you just started training of when you have been training for a while, we always advise to follow a training program with a renowned personal trainer once in your sports career. The tools and skills you learn that will help you train smarter and safer for the rest of your training career. Do your homework on finding the right trainer. There are thousands of personal trainers, but only a small portion of them are well-trained. Especially within Amsterdam we have a large network of highly-trained personal trainers that we work with.