Based out of the Trust Stadium, they work for the Physio Rehab Group. The team here at Clincians have had first hand experience of their skills, when they supported us through training and competing in the CureKids Adventure Race this year. Since winter sport season is upon us we thought it would be a good time to find out what the physio’s were facing.
Winter sport season is here, have you noticed an increase in injuries?
Yes, particularly with contact sports such as rugby and league, and non contact court sports such as netball and basketball. We are personally involved with the physio management of the LG Mystics netball team, the Vulcan’s Rugby League team, Mt Albert Lions Rugby League and other representative sports teams. So we see a wide variety of injuries walk through the door during the season with varying degrees of severity. This includes simple strains and sprains to more serious injuries involving long term rehabilitation.
What are the most common types of injury you see?
Within the non-sporting population we commonly see lower back, neck and shoulder issues. Quite often they are work related and can include overuse injuries which can lead to wear and tear. This is very prevalent in men and women who are using their bodies in a physical sense on a daily basis. The human body is not designed to be in a stationary position for prolonged periods such as hunched over a desk. Nor is it designed for repetitive heavy lifting and bending over a prolonged period.
Given our location we see a lot of sports injuries. These can be split in two categories:
- Non contact sports - like netball, basketball, cricket, soccer, long distance runners. Commonly we see ankles, fingers, calves/achilles, hamstrings and shoulders.
- Contact sports - such as league and rugby we see more knees, ankle, shoulders, necks, backs and ribs
Is there anything people can do to prevent these injuries?
Yes there is lots people can do. Physio Rehab Group/ Waitakere Stadium Physio can provide body movement screens which enhance performance and reduce your injury risk via an evidence based approach. The BodyMovementScreen quantifies the manner in which you move over a series of relatively simple tests. This allows our physiotherapists to identify current issues, potential problems and then construct a coherent individualized plan to assist people to remedy, correct or improve their movement. It is a great way to assess current and potential issues and used for all populations including athletes, office workers, industrial workers, young/old and weekend warriors.
Do you have any helpful tips for treating injuries so we can get well more quickly?
Seek treatment quickly. The longer an injury is left to its own devices the more likely it is to become chronic.
The first 24 hours following an injury is the most important time to help the recovery process. Simply follow the R.I.C.E principles and then seek further advice to assess the extent of the injury.
- Rest- trying to immobilise the injured part in the first instance to allow blood clot formation around the injured tissues, so that healing and repair can begin. If there is too much movement occurring the clotting will be disrupted extending the overall healing time
- Ice - applying ice to the injured site helps for many reasons. It prevents secondary tissue death which occurs when there is excess swelling in the injured area decreasing oxygen uptake to the cells. Ice also has a numbing effect, slowing down the conduction of pain messages to the central nervous system. Be careful not to put ice directly on skin as it can burn. 10-15 minutes is a good amount of time, every 1.5 to 2 hours
- Compression- the most important of the principles. Swelling is a normal phenomenon of the inflammatory and healing process, however, too much swelling or prolonged swelling can lead to a slower recovery. Within the first hour apply compression to help reduce the amount of swelling. Ideally, ice and compression are done together.
- Elevation – trying to keep the injured body part above heart level. Elevation works on the simple premise of gravity, to try and reduce swelling to the area.
Jane Cronin shares some natural tips too:
If you are regularly doing hard physical exercise you may need some additional supplementation. This may come in the form of a general multi. However, if you are experiencing muscle aches, twitching legs or find yourself waking up at night you may be short of magnesium. Magnesium is a muscle relaxer, so good to take at bed time after a hard workout. Fish or Krill oil can be very useful to protect the joints, like putting oil in your car to keep all the parts moving smoothly. Iron levels can be low in those doing high amounts of exercise, especially in menstruating women. You may be feeling fatigued all the time and may have less muscular strength. Also looking pale or feeling dizzy are signs of low iron. You can get too much iron, so it is good to have a blood test for iron levels before supplementing with iron tablets.
With regards to injuries you can take homeopathic Arnica as you carry out you R.I.C.E procedure. This remedy helps to reduce inflammation, swelling and bruising. You can use it for bruising, sprains, fractures, pulled muscles, shin splints. For quick healing of breaks use the homeopathic remedy Symphytum. This also works well for old achy bone injuries. When looking for support with joint degeneration (like creaky knees and stuck hip) glucosamine and chondroitin can be used. These help to support the structure, function and integrity of tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage and joint fluid. MSM is something else you may have heard of that can be used in relation to pain and inflammation.
Physio Rehab Group Head Office
64 Te Koa Road, Panmure, Auckland
Ph: (09) 575 4648