Preventing Sprains and Strains: Tips from a Physiotherapy

Musculoskeletal injuries can be a concern when increasing your exercise intensity or volume, especially during new exercise routines. To manage your training load effectively and prevent injuries including sprains and strains, consider the following tips from Caitlan, one of our Healthfix Physiotherapists:
  1. Gradual Progression: Avoid sudden spikes in exercise intensity or volume. Gradually increase the load on your muscles, joints, and connective tissues to allow them to adapt over time.
  2. Warm-Up and Cool-Down: Prioritise proper warm-up and cool-down routines before and after exercising. This helps prepare your muscles for activity and facilitates recovery. This is not just stretching but dynamic movements that are similar to the exercises you are about to complete.
  3. Proper Technique: Ensure that you’re using correct exercise techniques. Poor form can lead to unnecessary stress on your musculoskeletal system, increasing the risk of injury. If you are unsure, seek help from a trained professional to ensure you are moving correctly.
  4. Cross-Training: Incorporate a variety of exercises to avoid overloading specific muscle groups or joints. This approach helps distribute the stress more evenly and reduces the risk of overuse injuries. This includes running, swimming, cycling, weight training as well as pilates
  5. Rest and Recovery: Give your body adequate time to recover between intense sessions. Rest is crucial for tissue repair and adaptation to training.
  6. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any signs of discomfort, pain, or fatigue. Pushing through pain can exacerbate injuries. If you experience persistent pain, consult a physiotherapist or healthcare professional.
  7. Progressive Overload: Gradually increase the load, duration, or intensity of exercises within your capabilities. This promotes strength and endurance gains without overwhelming your musculoskeletal system. A personal trainer or physiotherapist can help you here if you are unsure of how to progress
  8. Flexibility and Mobility: Incorporate flexibility and mobility exercises into your routine. This enhances joint range of motion and reduces the risk of muscle imbalances.
  9. Nutrition and Hydration: Proper nutrition and hydration support muscle recovery and tissue health. Stay hydrated and consume a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients.
  10. Sleep Quality: Prioritise good sleep habits. Sleep is essential for recovery and overall health.
  11. Consult a Physiotherapist: If you’re new to exercise or experiencing discomfort, consulting a physiotherapist can help create a tailored plan that considers your individual needs and limitations.

Remember, the goal is to create a sustainable exercise routine that promotes health and wellness while minimising the risk of injuries such as sprains and strains. If you experience any issues or concerns, seeking guidance from a qualified healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist, is crucial for a safe and effective training experience.

    by Caitlan Skillicorn, Senior Physiotherapist, Healthfix North Sydney