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Injury Prevention Programs: Who benefits? What are the results? How do I start?

Injury prevention: runners at the starting line

There are two main groups of people that can benefit from an injury prevention program: those with recurring injuries and those who are at high risk for an injury.

Most often, we have clients coming to us with recurring injuries (such as ankle sprains or shoulder dislocations). These clients want to decrease the risk of their injury happening to them again. Having an injury once increases the changes of it happening again. For example, when you sprain your ankle you have damaged the surrounding supportive tissues such as ligaments, muscles, and joint capsule. The result is increased mobility and decreased stability of the joint. An injured ligament doesn't fully repair and therefore you need specific rehab exercises to provide further support. Your physiotherapist can design an injury prevention program that focuses on muscular strength, balance, and coordination that will give the ankle the stability it needs for you to continue to keep moving.

We also have clients coming to us who have not been injured yet, but are high risk for an injury (for example, 12-14 year old female soccer players very commonly get patellofemoral pain syndrome). Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain surrounding the knee cap that is often the result of muscular weakness, biomechanic issues, or overuse. Youth these days are often involved in multiple sports, or start playing one sport quite intensely at a very young age. This predisposes them to developing overuse injuries. Your physiotherapist can determine what your weaknesses are and provide you with the appropriate conditioning program to give your body the strength it needs to continue with sport while minimizing your risk for injury.

If you fit into one of the categories above, you’ll benefit from an injury prevention program.

Starting Your Injury Prevention Program

If a client comes in to Royal City Physio with a recurring injury or if they’re at high risk for an injury, our physiotherapists will start an assessment. They’ll look at five key factors:

  1. Biomechanics. How the client moves – looking for any abnormalities such as leg length discrepancies, knock knees, pigeon toed, etc.

  2. Muscular Strength. To determine if there are any imbalances or deficits across joints.

  3. Balance and Core Control. For example, poor balance and/or poor core control significantly increase the risk of injury.

  4. Mobility. Lack of mobility in one area can cause compensatory movement patterns in another.

  5. Functional Movement Patterns in Multi-Directional Planes. Focusing on movements specific to your sport or activity.

Based on the findings, the physiotherapist will develop a program tailored to your individual needs and/or sporting demands. Often these include multi-joint strengthening patterns with sport specific movements in mind; and, trying to minimize intrinsic and extrinsic biomechanical factors that often lead to injuries.

Do you think you might benefit from an injury prevention program? Get a program that is unique to your injury and needs. Book your assessment today.

Jayme Gordon graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Master's degree in Physical Therapy. Prior to this she completed a Bachelor's of Science Kinesiology degree at the University of Victoria. She is a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association as well as the Physiotherapy Association of BC. Jayme has a passion for working with a diverse patient population ranging from athletes to community dwelling seniors. Book with Jayme today.

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