For a healthy lifestyle exercise is a key ingredient. However, getting the balance right in our goal driven world is not always easy and we sometimes overdo things and end up injured with a sudden breakdown of our body tissues or a slow degeneration overtime due to the micro trauma caused by over training and pushing ourselves too hard.
A Sports Physiotherapist can help you recover more quickly from post exercise tissue stress and strain but most importantly find the right balance and address minor issue before they become major ones, improving performance, and reducing injury risk at the same time.
Yoga is often viewed as a relatively risk-free form of exercise. However, many people approach Yoga with the idea that the more flexibility the better and therefore prioritize flexibility over muscle balance, body alignment and control. All things that we can sum up as technique. It takes years or patient practice to build up great technique and it is tempting to go for short term improvement by pushing ourselves harder. So we develop better flexibility, however, without great control or technique greater flexibility means that we are putting ourselves at more serious risk of injury. Instead of getting a minor muscle strain, we end up with a dislocated shoulder and ripped ligaments. Instead of minor muscle trauma we end up with a fascial tear in our groin that requires surgery to pin it back together and is never quite the same again.
Seeing an experienced Sports Physiotherapist as soon as your body tells you that maybe you have pushed things a bit too far can help identify issues and underlying causes that may prevent you going on to get more serious injuries. The Physiotherapist will consider your muscle imbalances. If one group on muscles are relatively long and weak and another short and tight, you will be overstraining some part of your body. The classic example of this is short and tight through the hip flexors because we spend all day sitting down and sleeping gluts because they have been constantly stretched for hours on end and sat on all day. Then, in our busy lives we rush just in time for our Yoga Class with no time to do specific stretches and exercises to address this imbalance before we start our Practice. Or perhaps because of previous trauma part of your spine is tight and stiff meaning that other parts of your spine must work harder to make up for the loss of range and therefore potentially get overloaded. Or it may be that you have a timing issue muscle imbalance. For example, after sitting day all day the gluts are not firing up and protecting the lumbar spine on extension, leading to shear stress and pain lower back after exercise.
We need to understand clearly what your post exercise niggles; aches and pains are telling us. They should never be ignored. We must listen to our body all the time, it is always telling us something and the sooner we can address things the less risk of more serious injury further down the line. All these things and more can be identified by your Physiotherapist and effective innovative solutions found. The techniques used may range from soft tissue and deep tissue massage to iron out trigger points and restore normal muscle tone. Special types of exercises called Neuro-muscular integration exercises to address muscle imbalance issues before you start your Practice, Mobilization, and manipulation to restore range of motion and flexibility and advice on training strategy such as intensity, frequency, sleep nutrition, hydration, and rest. Sometimes we may reach out to your coach or Yoga teacher to work together on issues helping you to develop great technique safely, healthily, and enjoyably.
This article was written by Simon Purton, Senior Physiotherapist at SOHO Physiotherapy, TriYoga SOHO