Injury Prevention in St. Louis, MO. Whether you play a sport and are trying to get an opportunity at the next level, or a recent retiree who wants to dedicate your time to hiking, don’t let the fear of reinjury keep you from the happy, healthy lifestyle you deserve. While our professional St. Louis, 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 teach out exercises that are proven to reduce the risk of injury. Make an appointment at Axes Physical Therapy today or contact the location nearest you.
Physical activity is vitally important to many St. Louis, MO residents. Many of us participate in active endeavors like playing sports, biking, and more. Furthermore, committing to an active lifestyle helps stave off significant health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, depression, and many types of cancers. Not only can physical therapy with one of Axes’ licensed St. Louis, MO physical therapists allow you to return to action and perform even better than before, but our injury prevention specialists can help you reduce the risk of further injury by optimizing your overall movement health. All of our treatment plans, for both healing from and preventing injury, are based on evidence-backed techniques and are developed uniquely for each client and the level of activity they want to reach.
If you’ve recently sustained an injury, or have a lingering injury that won’t heal on its own, contact the Axes Physical Therapy location nearest you in St. Louis, MO for a free injury screening. To reduce your chance of an injury and ensure that you can keep up with your sport or hobby, read on below or call to speak to a physical therapist at your earliest convenience.
Injuries Axes PT Can Help Prevent in St. Louis, MO
Most injuries fall into two categories:
- Repetitive demand injuries are injuries happen gradually as a body part degrades because of repetitive movements. They are common in overhead athletes athletes who are required to repeat throwing or striking motions and commonly manifest themselves as joint pain.
- Acute injuries are injuries that happen suddenly. Examples include landing on uneven ground or receiving a blow. These can result in bruises, twisting joints, fractures, and dislocations.
Some of the injuries we see most frequently, like rotator cuff tears, can either develop over time or occur suddenly. Other injuries, such as ACL tears, are almost always the result of trauma, such as receiving a direct blow to the knee.
Why Do Injuries Happen? | Injury Prevention in St. Louis, MO
While injuries occur for many different reasons, and some are inescapable, they generally occur because your muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and joints cannot hold up under the force, torque, or stretching that are required or are possible in a given activity. There are three primary causes of why your body cannot adjust to an activity:
Muscle balance is essential to supporting joints and staving off injury. Imbalance can lead to an overreliance on one muscle group, causing it to perform actions it cannot do safely. It can also lead to poor posture, and one set of muscles becoming tired more quickly, making them more susceptible to injuries. Muscle imbalance can refer to insufficient muscle balance between muscle groups, such as having a strong hamstring and weak quadriceps, 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
Personalized injury prevention with our professional physical therapists in St. Louis, MO will bring balance to your muscles.
Movement dysfunction can impact your stability and impede your body’s ability to naturally perform functional movements, increasing your risk of injury. Neurological issues, inflammation, previous injuries, and muscle imbalance call all contribute to movement dysfunction. It can cause injury through:
- Joint mobility restrictions
- Muscle imbalance
- Coordination deficits
- Decreased balance
When you initially visit our injury prevention experts in St. Louis, MO, we’ll go over your medical history and perform a base evaluation to identify the root causes of your movement dysfunction. Then, together with your physician or any additional providers involved in your care, we’ll develop a personalized game plan been proven to work by research and studies to get your movement back on track.
Bad posture is not just an issue for people who sit a lot. Athletes and other physically active people can have postural dysfunction when at lest, sitting, or in specific stances necessary for a given activity. Healthy posture refers to proper positioning when both static and moving in a way that does not remove the spine from its natural curves. Poor posture can bring the bones of the spine closer together, which has a negative affect on our body’s ability to communicate with itself and reach the strength and range of motion you need to achieve. It causes injuries through:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle imbalance
- Poor positioning
- Joint mobility limitations
- Poor muscle recruitment
By teaching you good posture, we’ll aid in your injury prevention by ensuring you are using the right muscles for the right movements, your flexibility is not jeopardized, and your spine is in its natural position.
Injury Prevention Techniques in St. Louis, MO
You can still suffer an injury even if you did everything you could to reduce that risk. No one technique is 100% foolproof in injury prevention. However, there are precautions to greatly reduce the risk of injury:
- Take breaks — Your body needs time to rest and recover after any moderate to intense activity. If you’re heavily active, 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 moderate activity level, take it easy after activity so your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints become too fatigued.
- Use protective equipment — Helmets, mouth guards, protective eyewear, and other equipment necessary in sports and other activities can help prevent injuries such as contusions or concussions. If you’ve had a previous injury, your St. Louis, MO doctor or physical therapist may recommend stabilizing braces or Kinesio Taping®. Other measures like tying your athletic footwear tightly offers further stabilization.
- Improve muscle strength — Strengthening your muscles, tendons, and ligaments helps them stand up to the force and torque of heavy activity. Our St. Louis, MO injury prevention experts will work to achieve ideal muscle balance and strengthen the smaller muscles needed to safely participate in the activities you love.
- Enhance flexibility — Stretching achieves three critical things for injury prevention:
- It enhances which movements you can make and how far you can extend them, which allows for the tendons and ligaments connecting your muscles to your bones to handle more forceful movements.
- It improves blood flow, which allows for nutrient-rich blood to flow to your muscles, eliminating waste byproduct and rebuilding the muscles.
- It encourages good posture, which we already know is an an important part of injury prevention.
According to a peer-reviewed sports medicine paper, sports like basketball that necessitate sudden twists and movements require muscles and tendons compliant enough to perform those movements. Stretching and warm up exercises before activities 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 improve performance but help prevent injuries. Football players learn to tackle a certain way 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 break down your movement and educate you on how to improve it.
- Don’t ignore what your body is telling you — If a part of your body is sore, your body is trying to send you a message. If you feel something suddenly that doesn’t feel right, immediately withdraw from the activity and seek proportional medical care. If your body isn’t feeling up to a particularly rigorous workout, save it for another day.
- Don’t play through an injury — Even though gutting it out through pain is often seen as a courageous act among competitors, playing with an injury to a muscle, joint, tendon, or ligament could exacerbate a current injury and leave you on the sidelines for much longer than if you had sat out at the time of the injury. Depending on what caused your injury and how severe it is, recommended actions may be using R.I.C.E. method, seeing your doctor, and scheduling appointments with a physical therapist to make sure your recovery and return to action go as well as possible.
- Follow the rules — Many sports have special rules at different levels to reduce the risk of injury. Penalties for leading with the helmet in football, rules against slide-tackling in soccer, and even the presence of special lanes on the street and sidewalk for bikers 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 a new season or committing yourself to any strenuous activity or training regimen. While there, ask your doctor if injury prevention with a experienced physical therapist in St. Louis, MO is right for you. All of our techniques have been proven to prevent injury, 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 The Elderly in St. Louis, MO
Falls in senior citizens accounted for over 3 million emergency room admissions and more than 34,000 fatalities. Studies show that physical activity is a great method for 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 strong. While older adults typically do not exert themselves as much as an athlete does, appropriate strength, stability, flexibility, and optimal posture are great agents in injury prevention.
Other services we offer in St. Louis, MO include:
- Shoulder Pain
- Knee Injury
- Joint Pain
- Dry Needling
- ACL Tear
- Pain Management
- Rotator Cuff Tear
St. Louis, MO Injury Prevention | Axes Physical Therapy
Suffering in injury in one of your favorite activities causes a mental block that keeps us from experiencing the same euphoria. The knowledgeable St. Louis, 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. You deserve to feel the physical and mental health benefits of doing what you do best. Schedule an appointment online or reach out to the location nearest you to start your program with one of our injury prevention experts in St. Louis, MO.