Exercise is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy – and it can also be a lot of fun! There are many benefits of exercise, including reduced stress, socializing with friends, increased strength, more endurance, healthier body composition, better sleep, and reduced chances of several chronic diseases. However, sports and running injuries are also common. Though we see them most often among people who train moderately to very intensely, they can happen to anyone (as anyone who’s ever sprained their ankle on a casual weekend hike can attest.) The good news is, these injuries don’t have to ruin your physical health. In fact, they can sometimes be a good thing in the long run, because they give you the opportunity to strengthen your body and train it to move properly and confidently.
Sports and running injuries are among the most common ailments that we see here at Teton Therapy. From young athletes competing in high school sports to adults of all ages who have suffered an athletic strain, sprain, or break, our therapists have helped hundreds of people all across Wyoming recover their strength, mobility, and ability. And we are ready to help you!
Common Sports And Running Injuries We Can Help With
At some point, virtually everyone who is active will experience an injury, the most common being strains and sprains in the knees and ankles (though other joints are certainly susceptible to these injuries as well). But what exactly are strains and sprains?
A sprain occurs when the connective tissue that joins the end of one bone with another (called a ligament) is stretched, torn, or has too much force applied to it. Sprains are usually caused by trauma such as a fall or a blow to the body that knocks a joint out of position. They can also be caused by repetitive wear on the ligament – think the constant pounding that your ankles take while running, or the incredible forces that your knees experience during the quick pivots and turns of a basketball game.
A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is pulled, overworked, torn, or twisted. Strains can be contact or non-contact related, such as those that occur from overstretching, working out too hard, or pushing through workouts when fatigued or under-conditioned. A common example of a strain is a muscle cramp or a pulled muscle. These strains can occur in any muscle in your body and are easily treated with physical therapy.
Of course, there are other injuries that can occur due to physical exercise, including:
- Knee injuries
- Shin splints
- Hip injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Old injuries that may or may not have healed properly
Our therapists have years of experience in treating sports and running injuries. Through the use of analysis, proper equipment, therepeutic stretching, and therapeutic exercise, we will help you regain strength, mobility, balance, and of course, confidence!
Preventing Future Injuries
Whether you’ve just experienced an injury or simply want to prevent one in the future, we have the technology and expertise to help. We offer running evaluations, in which we will analyze several factors that lead to proper form and control, including:
- Mechanics of your running
- Flexibility and strength of primary muscle groups
- Flexibility and strength of supporting muscle groups
- Core strength and control
- Alignment and other issues
Part of the recovery process means strengthening the weakened muscles of your injured or painful areas, especially if they’ve undergone an extended period of rest to help them heal. Re-strengthening them provides better support to the joints and prevents pain from reoccurring.
Your physical or occupational therapist will show you the correct way to do easy exercises to improve your range of motion, strength, coordination, and stamina. In addition, we’ll teach you how to perform these exercises at home so you can maintain your gains and continue to progress.
If you have sustained an injury, we’ll evaluate and correct your movement to help make sure it doesn’t happen again. We also offer our running analysis services to healthy individuals who simply want to make sure their form is good. This can help you whether you’re a serious athlete training for marathons, or just like to go for a run in the mornings. You’ll be able to better your times, trust your body to move correctly and confidently, and most importantly, avoid injuries in the future!