Our expert guide to not pulling or breaking anything ever again (probably)
Emma Deakin, physiotherapist for the Brownlee brothers and English Institute Of Sport
Prevent Lower-limb strengthening exercises such as calf raises help you control the landing of your foot. If you have dropped arches or a flat foot, wear a neutral running shoe.
Treat Reduce the volume of running. For acute treatment you can use ice and compression, but the best thing is the control work around your ankle. Make sure you have a lot of range through your calf so that your ankle’s not getting tight.
Anterior Knee Pain
Prevent The majority of injuries come from biomechanical problems. When people first start running they find the knee, ankle and hip don’t work in alignment. Single knee dips, squats or other exercises where you ensure the knee, hip and foot all stay in a line, should be replicated when running.
Treat The best treatment is to use a foam roller. Just roll down and make sure the outside of your leg’s not too tight, so it’s not turning you inwards and making you use your knee.
Phil Burt, lead physiotherapist at British Cycling
Prevent You can’t predict when someone will pull out in front
of you, but there’s constant risk assessment. For example, I don’t ride with earphones in, because that reduces 50 per cent of your awareness.
Treat You need to go to hospital, have an x-ray and be assessed
by the right people. Surgeons generally leave it alone, so expect six weeks in a sling. However, you’re at massive risk of redoing it, so have another x-ray six weeks later to check the bone’s healing together.
Lumbar Spine Pain
Prevent If you do a 100-mile ride and all you’ve done before is 30, it will be hard on your back. Never make more than a 30 per cent increase in your training.
Treat If you’re mountain biking, suspension helps, but normally it’s just giving yourself time to adapt. If you’re a commuter suffering from back pain check
if you have 21mm tyres. These are very hard, so moving to 23mm tyres will provide more cushioning on the road.
Laura Penhaul, lead physiotherapist at Paralympic GB Athletics
Rotator Cuff Injury
Prevent The tendency when people go to the gym is to do a lot of pushing activity – bench press, press-ups and super-setting the same pattern of movement. It’s important to get a balance. Work the back just as strongly as you work the front.
Treat There will be a lot of rehab around the shoulder to ensure the spine is mobile. Use a foam roller and combine that with good pain relief and a structured physio programme.
Prevent Ask someone to watch your position when doing an exercise – you should have a good, long neck and not go into a ‘chin poke’ position. You want the tip of your earlobe to be in line with the middle of your shoulder.
Treat You must look at technique and correct the posture, as your neck tends to
be forgotten about. When lifting weights, people frequently lift with their head, which creates irritation in the disc. If your neck’s not got the strength
and control underneath, that’s where problems start.
Penhaul is rowing the Pacific Ocean in April. Support the journey at coxlesscrew.com
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(Image: Human Events)