Injury Prevention in St. Charles, MO. Whether you’re an athlete trying to get an opportunity at the next stage, or a recent retiree who wants to spend more time taking ski vacations, don’t let the fear of reinjury keep you from the happy, healthy lifestyle you deserve. While our professional St. Charles, MO physical therapists work extensively with athletes and others to heal after an injury, we are experts in the entire musculoskeletal system who can evaluate your body’s current condition and how you move to show you measures that are proven to prevent injury. Schedule an appointment at Axes Physical Therapy today or reach out to the location nearest you.
Physical activity is an essential part of many St. Charles, MO people’s lives. We love activities like playing sports, hiking, or other physical activities. Additionally, pursuing an active lifestyle helps stave off future health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, degenerative brain diseases, depression, and certain cancers. Not only can physical therapy with one of Axes’ licensed St. Charles, MO physical therapists help you 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 based on evidence-backed techniques and are customized for each client and the lifestyle they desire.
If you’ve recently suffered an injury, or have a nagging injury that won’t heal on its own, contact the Axes Physical Therapy location nearest you in St. Charles, MO for a complimentary injury screening. To take preventative measures and protect your sport or hobby, keep reading or call to speak to a physical therapist today.
Injuries Axes PT Can Help Prevent in St. Charles, 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. They are common in overhead athletes athletes who use throwing or striking motions and typically 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 common injuries, like rotator cuff tears, can either develop over time or occur suddenly. Other injuries, for example 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 St. Charles, MO
While injuries occur for many different reasons, and are sometimes 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 chief causes of why your body cannot adjust to an activity:
Muscle balance is key to supporting joints and reducing injury. Imbalance can cause dependency on one set of muscles, which may cause your body to use it in a way it shouldn’t. It can also lead to poor 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 inadequate muscle balance between muscle groups, such as having a strong bicep and weak tricep, or within muscle groups, such as an imbalance between the four muscles of the rotator cuff. Muscle imbalance can lead to:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle inflexibility
- Poor muscle recruitment
- Poor coordination
Tailored injury prevention with our certified physical therapists in St. Charles, 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 unnatural ways, causing injury. Problems in your nervous system, swelling, previous injuries, and muscle imbalance call all contribute to movement dysfunction. It can lead to:
- Joint mobility limitations
- Muscle imbalance
- Poor coordination
- Decreased balance
When you first see our injury prevention specialists in St. Charles, MO, we’ll discuss your medical history and perform a base evaluation to identify the root causes of your movement dysfunction. Then, in concert with with your physician or any additional providers treating you, we’ll design a tailored treatment plan 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. Athletes and others with active lifestyles can have postural dysfunction when lying down, driving, or in certain poses they need to be in for a given activity. Optimal posture means proper alignments of the neck, torso, pelvis, and extremities in a way that keeps the spine within its natural curves. Poor posture can compress the joints in the spine, which disrupts your nervous system and makes it challenging to reach ideal motion health. It causes injuries through:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle imbalance
- Poor positioning
- Joint mobility limitations
- Poor muscle recruitment
Good posture is an important part of injury prevention because it ensures you are using your muscles equally, your flexibility can be improved and maintained, and your nervous system can communicate as its intended to.
Injury Prevention Techniques in St. Charles, MO
You can still suffer an injury even if you did everything you could to reduce that risk. No one safety tip is guaranteed to be effective in injury prevention. However, there are things you can do to greatly reduce the risk of injury:
- Take a rest — Injuries are more common when you do not give your body time to restore itself. If you have a very high activity level, one or two rest days a week will encourage your body to naturally heal any mild pain or soreness. If you have a more modest activity level, rest for the rest of the day after an activity so your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints become too fatigued.
- Wear the right equipment — Helmets, chin straps, elbow pads, and other recommended equipment in many sports helps you avoid injuries such as cuts or head injuries. If you’re returning to activity after an injury, your St. Charles, MO physician or injury prevention expert may advise braces or Kinesio Taping® to stabilize the injured area. Other methods like making sure all the equipment is snug offers further stabilization.
- Improve muscle strength — Strengthening your muscles, tendons, and ligaments helps them stand up to the rigors of heavy activity. In your customized injury prevention program with our experienced St. Charles, MO physical therapists, we’ll work to build up your body to be able to stay healthy in the activities you want to participate in.
- Increase flexibility — Increasing your flexibility contributes to injury prevention in three way:
- It boosts your range of motion, which lets for your soft tissue to handle more drastic positions.
- It enhances circulation, which carries nutrient-rich blood to your soft tissue, removing waste byproduct and encouraging the muscles to recover.
- It improves your posture, which, as you read earlier, is is one of the most important factors of injury prevention.
According to studies, sports like basketball that require sudden twists and movements require muscles and tendons compliant enough to perform those movements. Stretching and warm up exercises before games or training further helps prevent injuries.
- Use accepted technique — In every sport, there is an accepted way to position and move your body. These techniques not only help you perform better but help reduce the risk of injury. Football players learn to tackle with the shoulder in order to reduce the risk of a head injury, and swimmers learn the proper strokes to make sure their muscles are moving unnaturally. We utilize DorsaVi video motion analysis to capture how you move and evaluate how to improve it.
- Don’t ignore what your body is telling you — If you feel pain in a muscle or joint, that means that body part is telling your brain that something is wrong. If you feel sudden pain, stop immediately and get the appropriate medical treatment. If your body isn’t feeling up to an intense training session, save it for another day.
- Don’t play through an injury — Even though teammates, competitors, and fans appreciate a player that plays through pain, playing with an injury to a muscle, joint, tendon, or ligament could exacerbate a current injury and put you out of commission for longer than it originally would have. Depending on what caused your injury and how severe it is, you may use methods like the R.I.C.E. method, visiting urgent care, and a series of physical therapy sessions to ensure your body heals properly and can handle the activity you want to return to.
- Play by the rules — Most sports have special rules at different levels to reduce the risk of injury. 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 were enacted for a reason, and there’s a reason that violations of those rules are punished.
- Speak a licensed physical therapist — It’s a good idea to get a physical before another season begins or starting up a new physical activity. While there, ask your doctor if injury prevention with a professional physical therapist in St. Charles, 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 The Elderly in St. Charles, MO
Falls in adults over 65 were responsible for over 3 million emergency room visits and over 34,000 fatalities. Research demonstrates that physical activity is invaluable in preventing falls. Other conditions like arthritis that develop over the course of several years can be effectively managed with physical therapy exercises that keep your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints healthy. While the physical demands for older adults may not be as high as an athlete, healthy strength, stability, flexibility, and correct posture can greatly aid in injury prevention.
Other services we offer in St. Charles, MO include:
- Shoulder Pain
- Knee Injury
- Joint Pain
- Dry Needling
- ACL Tear
- Pain Management
- Rotator Cuff Tear
St. Charles, MO Injury Prevention | Axes Physical Therapy
Suffering in injury in one of your favorite activities can lead to a mental block that keeps us from experiencing the same freedom. The professional St. Charles, MO physical therapists at Axes are here to guide you through your own personalized injury prevention program that will keep your body as safe and healthy as can be, and your mind at ease that you do not have to fear going back to what you love. You deserve to feel the physical and mental health benefits of doing what you do best. Make an appointment online or reach out to the location nearest you to get started with one of our injury prevention specialists in St. Charles, MO.