Injury Prevention in Affton, MO. Whether you’re an athlete and want to improve your performance, or a recent retiree who wants to spend more time hiking, don’t let the fear of reinjury keep you from the happy, healthy lifestyle you desire. While our certified Affton, MO physical therapists work extensively with athletes and others to recover from injury, we are complete movement health specialists who can evaluate your body’s current condition and how you move to show you exercises that are proven to reduce the risk of injury. Make an appointment at Axes Physical Therapy today or call the location most convenient for you.
Being physically active is vitally important to many Affton, MO residents. Many of us participate in activities such as playing sports, playing golf, or other physical activities. Furthermore, keeping an active lifestyle helps prevent serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, degenerative brain diseases, mental health issues, and many types of cancers. Not only can physical therapy with one of Axes’ licensed Affton, MO physical therapists allow you to return to action and perform even better than before, but our injury prevention professionals can help keep you active by improving your overall strength, flexibility, and posture. All of our methods, both when helping restore motion health and when looking to improve it, have been prove to work and are customized for each client and the activities they want to return to.
If you’ve recently sustained an injury, or have a lingering injury that is not getting better with time, contact the Axes Physical Therapy location nearest you in Affton, MO for a no-risk, no-obligation injury screening. To reduce your chance of an injury and protect your active lifestyle, read on below or call to speak to a physical therapist today.
Types of Injuries We Prevent Prevent in Affton, MO
Injuries typically fall into two categories:
- Repetitive motion injuries are injuries happen gradually as a body part degrades because of repetitive movements. They are common in overhead athletes such as water polo or shotput and pole-vaulters and commonly manifest themselves as joint pain.
- Acute injuries are sudden and spontaneous. Examples include landing on uneven ground or receiving a blow. These can result in bruises, sprains and strains, broken bones, and dislocations.
Some of the injuries we see most frequently, such as rotator cuff tears, can result from either overuse or acute trauma. Other injuries, like ACL tears, are almost always the result of trauma, with a sudden impact to the knee.
What Causes Injuries? | Injury Prevention in Affton, MO
While injuries can happen in a variety of circumstances, and some are inescapable, they generally happen because your soft tissue, bones, and joints cannot handle the force, torque, or stretching that are required or are possible in a given activity. There are three common dysfunctions that lead to injury:
Muscle balance is key to supporting joints and reducing injury. Imbalance can result in overemphasis for one set of muscles, causing it to perform actions it cannot do safely. It also causes posture dysfunction, and the weaker set of muscles will be pushed past its limit, resulting in failure and a higher probability of injury. Muscle imbalance can refer to inadequate muscle balance between muscle groups, such as having a strong hamstring and weak quadriceps, or in the same muscle group, such as the four muscles in the rotator cuff having different levels of strength. Symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle inflexibility
- Poor muscle recruitment
- Poor coordination
Customized injury prevention with our knowledgeable physical therapists in Affton, MO will ensure that your muscles are at optimal proportional strength.
Movement dysfunction can result in poor balance and lead to your body moving in unnatural ways, causing injury. It can be caused by a range of musculoskeletal issues. Symptoms include:
- Joint mobility limitations
- Muscle imbalance
- Coordination deficiency
- Decreased balance
At our initial injury prevention appointment in Affton, MO, we’ll discuss your medical history and analyze your current movement health, strength, and flexibility. Then, alongside with your doctor or any other medical professionals treating you, we’ll develop a tailored plan of attack based on empirically-backed research and studies to get your body moving as it should.
Bad posture doesn’t just affect people who sit a lot. People who play sports and other physically active people can be affected by postural dysfunction when resting, using the computer, or in certain body positions necessary for a given activity. Good posture refers to correct positioning of the different joints and muscles of your body in a way that keeps the spine within its natural curves. Poor posture can compact the joints in the spine, which disrupts communication between your brain and body and makes it harder to achieve optimal movement health. Symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle imbalance
- Poor positioning
- Joint mobility limitations
- Poor muscle recruitment
By helping you understand ideal posture, we’ll aid in your injury prevention by ensuring muscle balance, range of motion, and that your nervous system can communicate as its intended to.
How to Prevent Injury in Affton, MO
All sports and physical activities carry an inherent risk of injury. We cannot promise that our injury prevention program completely negates the risk of injury. However, there are several steps you can take to greatly reduce the risk of injury:
- Take breaks — Injuries are more common when you do not give your body time to restore itself. If you have a very high activity level, make sure to take one or two days off per week to encourage your body to engage in its natural healing and recovery processes. If you have a more modest activity level, rest for the rest of the day after an activity so your body doesn’t become too fatigued.
- Wear the appropriate equipment — Helmets, chest guards, safety pads and guards, and other recommended equipment in many sports can help prevent injuries such as cuts or concussions. If you’ve had a previous injury, your Affton, MO doctor or physical therapist may fit you for braces or Kinesio Taping® to stabilize the injured area. Other methods like making sure all the equipment is snug offers further protection.
- Strengthen muscles — Strengthening soft tissue helps it stand up to the force and torque of heavy activity. In your personalized injury prevention program with our certified Affton, MO physical therapists, we’ll work to achieve optimal muscle balance and strengthen the often forgotten muscles needed to be able to stay healthy in the activities you want to participate in.
- Increase flexibility — Increasing your flexibility accomplishes three important things for injury prevention:
- It increases your range of motion, which allows for your tendons and ligaments to adjust to more forceful positions.
- It boosts circulation, which carries nourishing blood to your muscles, eliminating waste byproduct and rebuilding the muscles.
- It enhances your posture, which we already know is an an important part of injury prevention.
According to studies, sports like football that include dynamic motions require soft tissue flexible enough to incorporate and release the high levels of energy required. Also, it’s important to stretch and warm up before any physical activity to further reduce the risk of injury.
- Use accepted technique — In every sport, there are accepted techniques to use. These techniques not only help you perform better but help prevent injuries by not forcing your body into unnatural positions and movements. Football players are taught to tackle with the shoulder in order to avoid brain damage, and swimmers learn the proper strokes to make sure their muscles are moving unnaturally. We utilize DorsaVi video motion analysis to slow down your movement and analyze how to improve it.
- Listen to your body — If you feel pain in a muscle or joint, that means that body part is telling your brain that something isn’t right. If you feel a sudden pop or grinding sensation, immediately withdraw from the activity and seek proportional medical care. If your body does not feel well enough for an intense training session, save it for another day.
- Don’t play through an injury — Even though gutting it out through pain is often viewed as a heroic act among competitors, playing with soft tissue or structural damage could make that injury worse and leave you on the sidelines for much longer than you would have been sitting out. Depending on what caused your injury and how severe it is, recommended actions may be using R.I.C.E. method, visiting your doctor, and a series of physical therapy sessions to ensure your recovery and return to action go as well as possible.
- Play by the rules — Depending on the sport or activity and age level of the participants, it likely has special rules to help prevent injury. Penalties for leading with the helmet in football, rules against slide-tackling in soccer, and even the existence of bike lanes are all rules that were adopted to keep participants safe. There’s a reason those rules exist, and a reason that there are penalties for them.
- Speak a professional physical therapist — It’s in your best interest to see a doctor before starting another season or committing yourself to any strenuous activity or training regimen. During your physical, ask your doctor if injury prevention with a knowledgeable physical therapist in Affton, MO is right for you. All of our techniques have been proven to reduce the risk of injury, and we’ll personalize your program to your age, any previous injuries, and which activities you want to participate in.
Injury Prevention for Older Affton, MO Adults
Falls in senior citizens were responsible for more than 3 million emergency room admissions and over 34,000 fatalities. Research demonstrates that physical activity can go a long way in reducing the risk of falls. Other conditions that limit mobility such as arthritis that accumulate over time can be effectively managed with physical therapy exercises that keep your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints active. While the physical demands for older adults may not be as high as an athlete, appropriate strength, balance, flexibility, and optimal posture can greatly aid in injury prevention.
Other services we offer in Affton, MO include:
- Shoulder Pain
- Knee Injury
- Joint Pain
- Dry Needling
- ACL Tear
- Pain Management
- Rotator Cuff Tear
Affton, MO Injury Prevention | Axes Physical Therapy
Being injured in one of your favorite activities can lead to a mental block that keeps us from experiencing the same exhilaration. The licensed Affton, MO physical therapists at Axes are here to guide you through your own personalized injury prevention program that will keep your body strong and flexible, and your mind confident that you can safely return to the activities you love. We will aid you in feeling the physical and mental health benefits that you once valued so much. Schedule an appointment online or call the location nearest you to find out more about what our Affton, MO injury prevention professionals can do for you.