Physiotherapy plays an important part in injury prevention.
The three pillars for injury prevention in sports such as running are
1. Identification of the risk factors
Due to postural alignment or muscle imbalances, some athletes are more prone to certain type of injuries. For example, running with gluteal muscles that are not firing properly could potentially put a lot of strain on the lower back while running as it will lead to lack of propulsion forces and put mechanical load on the lower back. It is therefore important to understand the risk factors associated with certain sports.
2. Biomechanics correction
Biomechanics constitutes a major part of injuries and is one of the most common causes of injuries in running. Identifying the faulty biomechanics and correcting them could potentially lead to balanced distribution of the load through various joints and muscles and reduce the overall energy expenditure of the body without putting strain on the musculoskeletal structure. Biomechanical analysis is a process through which the movement patterns, joint force and load distribution are identified and analysed. Physiotherapists use their anatomical knowledge to recognise the altered biomechanics of an individual and provide solutions to correct these biomechanics. In runners, the biomechanics are analysed while they are performing the sport such as running. Therefore, running gait would be analysed on a treadmill to see the runner’s performance in relation to time, joint angles, muscle dynamics and informed decisions made based on the analysis and observation.
3. Injury prevention
Having regular physiotherapy treatment reduces the chances of injuries to a significant extent. Individualised exercise plan helps to target the areas that particularly require attention. Therefore, a physiotherapist would devise a treatment plan which is focused on the needs and goals of the client. This would ultimately lead to improvement in the performance in terms of strength, endurance and flexibility.