Injury Prevention in Hazelwood, MO. Whether you’re an athlete and want to improve your performance, or a recent retiree who wants to dedicate your time to bike riding, don’t let the fear of reinjury keep you from the happy, healthy lifestyle you deserve. While our professional Hazelwood, MO physical therapists spend much of their time helping athletes and others recover from injury, we are experts in the entire musculoskeletal system who can evaluate your body’s current condition and how you move to teach out techniques that are proven to reduce the risk of injury. Schedule an appointment at Axes Physical Therapy today or call the location most convenient for you.
Physical activity is vitally important to many Hazelwood, MO residents. Many of us participate in activities like playing sports, kayaking, or other physical activities. Additionally, committing to an active lifestyle reduces the risk of significant health problems including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eurodegenerative disease, depression, and certain cancers. Not only can physical therapy with one of Axes’ licensed Hazelwood, MO physical therapists allow you to return to action and perform even better than before, but our injury prevention professionals can help preserve your active lifestyle by optimizing your overall movement health. All of our treatment plans, both when helping restore motion health and when looking to improve it, are proven to be effective and are customized for each client and the activities they want to return to.
If you’ve recently sustained an injury, or have a persistent injury that won’t heal on its own, contact the Axes Physical Therapy location nearest you in Hazelwood, MO for a free injury screening. To take preventative measures and protect your active lifestyle, keep reading or inquire about an appointment today.
Types of Injuries We Prevent Prevent in Hazelwood, MO
Most injuries fall into two categories:
- Chronic injuries are injuries that occur when a part of the body repeats the same motion time and time again. In sports, we see them the most in in overhead athletes such as tennis or shotput and pole-vaulters and commonly manifest themselves as joint pain.
- Acute injuries are sudden and spontaneous. Examples include falling or a sudden impact by an object or another person. These can result in bruises, sprains and strains, broken bones, and dislocations.
Some of the injuries we see most frequently, for example rotator cuff tears, can result from either overuse or acute trauma. Other injuries, like ACL tears, are almost always the result of trauma, with an immediate impact to or twisting of the knee.
Why Do Injuries Happen? | Injury Prevention in Hazelwood, MO
While injuries can happen in a variety of circumstances, and some are unpreventable, they generally happen because your soft tissue, bones, and joints cannot handle the force, torque, or stretching that they are subjected to in a given movement or collision. There are three common dysfunctions that lead to injury:
Muscle balance is key to supporting joints and reducing injury. Imbalance can lead to overemphasis for one set of muscles, which may cause your body to use it in a way it shouldn’t. It also prevents you from having ideal posture, and the weaker set of muscles will be pushed past its limit, resulting in failure and a higher likelihood of injury. Injuries can be caused by insufficient muscle balance between muscle groups, such as having a strong chest and weak back, or within muscle groups, such as an imbalance between the four muscles of the rotator cuff. Muscle imbalance can result in:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle inflexibility
- Poor muscle recruitment
- Poor coordination
Customized injury prevention with our knowledgeable physical therapists in Hazelwood, MO will ensure that different muscles and muscle groups are equally strong.
Movement dysfunction can impact your stability and lead to your body bending in ways it is not designed to, increasing your risk of 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 Hazelwood, MO, we’ll go over your medical records and analyze your current movement health, strength, and flexibility. Then, in concert with with your physician or any other medical professionals involved in your care, we’ll come up with a personalized 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 with desk jobs. Athletes and others with active lifestyles can have postural dysfunction when resting, using the computer, or in certain body positions they need to be in for their sport. Good posture means correct positioning when both static and moving in a way that does not remove the spine from its natural curves. Poor posture can bring the joints in the spine closer together, which interferes with our body’s ability to communicate with itself and achieve ideal motion health. It can also lead to:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle imbalance
- Poor positioning
- Joint mobility limitations
- Poor muscle recruitment
By teaching you 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 Hazelwood, MO
All sports and physical activities can potentially lead to an injury. No one technique is guaranteed to be effective in injury prevention. However, there are several steps you can take to greatly reduce the risk of injury:
- Take a rest — Your body needs time to rest and recover after any moderate to intense activity. If you have a very high activity level, one or two rest days a week will allow your body to naturally heal any mild pain or soreness. If you have a more moderate activity level, take a break after activity so you don’t overwork your muscles and joints.
- Use the correct equipment — Helmets, chin straps, elbow pads, and other recommended equipment in sports and other activities can help prevent injuries like cuts or concussions. If you’ve had a previous injury, your Hazelwood, MO physician or injury prevention professional may advise braces or Kinesio Taping® to stabilize the affected area. Other methods like making sure all the equipment is snug offers further stabilization.
- Increase muscle strength — Strengthening your muscles, tendons, and ligaments helps them withstand the force and torque your body is put through in sports and other activities. In your customized injury prevention program with our experienced Hazelwood, MO physical therapists, we’ll work to build up your body to be able to avoid injury in the activities you want to participate in.
- Improve flexibility — Increasing your flexibility achieves three critical things for injury prevention:
- It enhances your range of motion, which allows for the tendons and ligaments connecting your muscles to your bones to handle more dramatic movements.
- It enhances blood flow, which carries nutrient-rich blood to your soft tissue, removing waste byproduct and encouraging the muscles to restore themselves.
- It encourages good posture, which, as you read earlier, is an important part of injury prevention.
According to a peer-reviewed sports medicine paper, sports like soccer that necessitate dynamic movements require muscles and tendons with sufficient flexibility to store and expel the high amount of energy required. Also, don’t forget to stretch and warm up before any physical activity to further reduce the risk of injury.
- Use proper technique — In every sport, there are accepted techniques to use. These techniques not only help you get be the best athlete you can be but help reduce the risk of injury. Football players learn to tackle a certain way to reduce the risk of brain damage, and rotational athletes like golfers and baseball players learn how to best apply torque to your body. We utilize DorsaVi video motion analysis to break down your movement and educate you on how to both be a better athlete and prevent injury.
- Listen to your body — If you feel pain in a muscle or joint, your body is trying to send you a message. If you feel something suddenly that doesn’t feel right, stop immediately and seek proportional medical care. If your body isn’t feeling up to a particularly rigorous training session, save it for another day.
- Don’t play through an injury — While teammates, competitors, and fans appreciate an athlete that guts it out through pain, forcing your body to perform with an injury to a muscle, joint, tendon, or ligament could make that injury worse and put you out of commission for much longer than you would have been sitting out. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may use methods like the R.I.C.E. method, visiting urgent care, and scheduling appointments with a physical therapist to ensure your body heals properly and can handle the activity you want to return to.
- Follow the rules — Depending on the sport or activity and age level of the participants, it likely has special rules in the interest of safety. Penalties for helmet to helmet hits in football, rules against head-first sliding in baseball, and even the presence of bike lanes are examples of rules that leagues enacted to prevent injuries to ourselves and others. Those are in place for a reason, and there’s a reason that there are penalties for them.
- Speak a licensed physical therapist — It’s in your best interest to have a medical evaluation before a new season or starting up a new activity or training regimen. While there, inquire with your doctor if injury prevention with a knowledgeable physical therapist in Hazelwood, MO is something you should consider. Every treatment plan we employ has been proven to help athletes remain healthy, and you plan will be completely unique to you and catered to your age, any previous injuries, and how physically active you wish to be.
Injury Prevention for Senior Citizens in Hazelwood, MO
Falls in senior citizens accounted for over 3 million emergency room visits and more than 34,000 fatalities. Studies show that being physical active is a great method for preventing falls. Other conditions that cause pain like arthritis that accumulate over time can be more bearable and take longer to progress with physical therapy exercises that keep your soft tissue and joints active. While older adults typically do not exert themselves as much as an athlete does, healthy strength, balance, flexibility, and optimal posture can greatly aid in injury prevention.
Other services we offer in Hazelwood, MO include:
- Shoulder Pain
- Knee Injury
- Joint Pain
- Dry Needling
- ACL Tear
- Pain Management
- Rotator Cuff Tear
Hazelwood, MO Injury Prevention | Axes Physical Therapy
Suffering in injury in in an activity you prepare and train for and love can create a mental block that won’t allow us to experience the same exultation. The professional Hazelwood, MO physical therapists at Axes are here to design for you a personalized injury prevention program that will keep your body prepared for the rigors of physical activity, and your mind at ease that you do not have to fear going back to what you love doing most. You deserve to feel the physical and mental health benefits of doing what you do best. Schedule an appointment online or contact the location nearest you to start your program with one of our injury prevention experts in Hazelwood, MO.