Why did I undertake a Master’s degree in Sports Medicine?
Methods of rehabilitating sports injuries critically rely on a good diagnosis. To diagnose correctly takes specialists tests and understanding not taught in sports therapy, a very basic course; or even at the higher level chartered physiotherapy degree.
So what is sports Medicine?
The field of sports medicine can be broken down into three elements.
Exercise physiology, nutrition and rehabilitation of sports injuries. The three often being interrelated.
Exercise physiology this is the understanding of how our muscular system works during sport, what is happening to our organs, muscles and tissue during warm up, performance and post sport, be it at recreational or elite level. The biomechanics of our body which falls into the physiology element, explores the posture we adopt during our chosen sport, this may need a little help, perhaps due to genetics, or can be an adaption over many years leading to a poor gait analysis (the way we run). At the clinic we will not only analyse your gait but help to correct it, either by training adaption or if need be the fitting of custom made orthotics (Shoe inserts); either way we will try to ensure no reoccurrence of an injury be it chronic or acute.
Nutrition is the understanding of the fuel required by these elements to function at their optimum performance. This again means prior to sport, during sport and after in the vital recovery stage. Muscles require oxygen delivery; unbalanced nutrition will limit this capability.
Sports injuries occur when there is a breakdown in one or both of the other elements.
Rehabilitation looks at not only a speedy return to fitness from a sports injury but at the process that lead to the injury. Was the physiology correct? Do we need to adapt our training? Was the body weak and tired? Possibly due again to incorrect training or inadequate nutrition. Is this the first occurrence of the injury or a reoccurring problem?
These questions and many more lead to the understanding of what has gone wrong and help us to understand the best steps forward.
Amongst other methods we use are electrotherapy machines: These include Long wave Ultrasound, a much deeper penetrating machine than a typical ultrasound machine. This enables quicker and more efficient breakdown of scar tissue and haematomas (congealed bruising).The synaptic machine as pictured in the web site works on stimulating chemical release (endorphins, enkelphins, serotonin to name just a few) from the brain with high frequency wavelengths not achieved by other machines, this chemical release aids pain and speeds up the injury process .
The other important phases are, firstly joint realignment but only as necessary, often over used by chiropractors and osteopaths. We can manipulate the joints of the back or neck as necessary. Secondly, Soft tissue work, deep soft tissue massage aids the blood flow and again helps breakdown damaged tissue a much underestimated phase of rehabilitation. Lastly but possibly most important is the exercise and return to sport programme. To recover from an injury we made need an initial rest period from our sport but an important phase is an exercise programme to regain strength and mobility to the injured and weakened areas. We endeavour to give printed specific exercise sheets tailored to your needs, this will enable you to easily follow your specific programme. With self management advice for an injury free future!
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