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injury prevention young athletes with Sheddon Physio Clinic Oakville

Preventing Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes

Youth sport has changed drastically in the past 20 years. Seasons are longer and youth are spending more time on a weekly basis practicing and competing. While this trend has been shown to increase skill development, it doesn’t come without a price. Research has shown that these athletes are also at an increased risk of overuse and repetitive strain injuries. The most at risk are those aged from 13-15 years old, most likely due to growth spurts and increased demands of sport. How can you make sure your young athletes can continue to train during this stage of development without suffering from injury?

What is an overuse injury?

Overuse injuries account for 50% of all adolescent sports injuries. They occur as a result of repetitive microtrauma to muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones, without sufficient time for the body to heal and recover.

Why are young athletes at risk?

  • Growing bones are more vulnerable to stresses;
  • “Adolescent Awkardness”, whereby an adolescent’s bones and muscles grow at different rates. This puts a lot of stress on the muscle-tendon junctions, bone-tendon junctions, ligaments and growth cartilage creating an imbalance in strength, flexibility and coordination;
  • Poor conditioning;
  • Increased training volumes and intensities with lack of recovery;
  • Increased pressure and expectations from coaches, trainers and parents to play through pain and discomfort.

 

Injury Prevention Strategies

  1. Focus on flexibility and keeping the muscles at an optimal length as the bones grow, with particular focus on the hamstrings, quadriceps and lower back (which have all been shown to be excessively tight during the adolescent growth spurt);sports physiotherapy injury prevention
  2. Strengthening key muscles (i.e., core/hips, etc) to prevent imbalance;strengthening key muscle with Sheddon Physio Clinic Oakville
  3. Exercises focusing on neuromuscular control, proprioception and postural stability are extremely important for all athletes, but especially girls who are going through puberty as ligaments tend to weaken during this stage;
  4. Specific focus on landing stabilization (jump/hop and hold) and proper technique in landing, cutting and jumping, since these are the main mechanisms of injury;landing stabilization with Sheddon Physio Clinic Oakville
  5. Careful monitoring of training workload, especially if the athlete is showing early signs of an injury;
  6. Play a variety of different sports. Playing a different sport has a 61% decreased risk of injury, while specializing in only one sport actually has an increased risk of injury;
  7. Proper warm up: check out the FIFA 11 warm up program that has scientifically been proven to reduce injuries by 30-50%;
  8. Exercises for injury prevention should be implemented across all youth sports and physical activity in order to improve overall fitness and performance. Although it will take away from regular practice time, the long-term benefits far outweigh the risk of injury.

If you are the parent, coach, or trainer of a young athlete be proactive and chat with one of the therapists at Sheddon on injury prevention strategies.

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concussion types treatment Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

Prevention & Treatment of Groin Injuries in Athletes

Groin injuries affect roughly 20% of soccer players due to the nature of the sport, which involves lots of kicking, inside passing and changes of direction. These movements put a large eccentric force on the adductor muscles, which puts them at risk for injury. As such, roughly 70% of soccer related groin injuries involve the adductor muscles, with the adductor longus being the most frequently injured. Injury to these muscles is usually due to overuse and muscle imbalance, two factors that can be modified with a good prevention program.

The adductor muscles consist of a group of muscles in the inner thigh that work together to move one leg in towards the other. They also assist with other hip movements, as well as balancing the pelvis. They are injured during soccer from kicking, changing direction, reaching and sprinting. Risk factors for injury include:

  • Athletes with muscle imbalances around the hip/pelvis/core;
  • Adductor muscle tightness or weakness;
  • Higher level of play;
  • Previous groin injury;
  • Hip adductor to abductor muscle imbalance.

Treatment will initially be focused on controlling pain and maintaining range of motion. Depending on the severity of the injury, your therapist may also teach you how to wrap the groin in order to relieve pain. As the pain subsides other treatment strategies will be implemented such as soft tissue techniques, modalities to encourage healing, as well as a strong emphasis on exercise. Exercise will focus on the adductors, as well as the core and pelvic musculature. Reintegration into sport specific training will focus on cutting, sprinting, passing and progressive kicking exercises to improve stance leg loading and kicking leg impact. At Sheddon we use the SKLZ Star Kick Elite, a solo soccer trainer,  that returns the ball with true rolls and bounces to help players build passing, receiving and shooting skills. concussion types treatment Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

No athlete wants to be sidelined with an injury. Be proactive and follow the injury prevention recommendations below to ensure you stay injury free:

  • Work your CORE: core and pelvic stability can prevent groin and many other injuries;
  • Make sure your hip/pelvis muscles are well balanced in terms of flexibility, coordination and strength.
  • Following the FIFA 11+ warm up program can prevent many injuries, including to the groin.
  • Slowly integrate large amounts of isolated inside passing and kicking into training, as too much has been shown to increase the risk of groin injuries.
  • Specific exercises to strengthen the adductor muscles pre-season have been shown to reduce groin injuries. One of the exercises researchers have focused on is the Copenhagen Adduction exercise (see photo below). Completing this exercise 2-3x/wk, 3 sets, with 6-15 reps per side can significantly increase eccentric adductor strength, thereby reducing the likelihood of groin injuries.concussion types treatment Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga
  • If the Copenhagen Adduction exercise is a little too advanced for you, other researchers showed benefits from strengthening with a theraband. See photo below. This exercise should be completed 3x/wk, 3 sets, 15 reps.concussion types treatment Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

If you have been suffering from groin pain or want to prevent groin injuries, contact one of our therapists at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic, who will assess and treat your injury and get you back on the field pain-free.

Haroy et al., (2017). Including the Copenhagen Adduction Exercise in the FIFA 11+ Provides Missing Eccentric Hip Adduction Strength Effect in Male Soccer Players. A Randomized Control Trial. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 45;13;3052-3059.

soccer injury prevention physiotherapy sports clinic oakville mississauga

Soccer and Injury Prevention in the Lower Extremity

Soccer is one of the most widely played sports by children, teens and adults. It also has one of the highest injury rates among all sports and across all levels from beginners, weekend warriors to professional athletes. The majority of these injuries occur in the lower extremity due to the amount of footwork required during twisting, turning, jumping, landing and tackling. In this article we will discuss the most common lower extremity injuries in soccer, as well as prevention strategies that coaches, trainers and athletes can start implementing right away to keep athletes healthy on the field.

Common Lower Extremity Injuries

ACL Injuries

ACL injuries continue to be one of the most common and devastating sporting injuries. They are frequent in soccer, and 80% of the time they occur during non-contact activities such as cutting, pivoting and landing. Once an athlete has suffered an ACL injury, they are 25% more likely to injure the opposite ACL or reinjure the same one. The good news is that ACL injuries are preventable. Research has shown preventative ACL programs can decrease the risk of ACL injuries by 24-82%, with these rates being higher in females and younger athletes.

What can you do right now to keep your ACL injury free?

  • Start a prevention program at an early age and stick with it. Those who started an ACL neuromuscular training program young (pre-puberty), and actually stuck with it on a regular basis (3x/week for 20-30 min at a time) were less likely to sustain an ACL injury.
  • Fix your biomechanics. Faulty movement patterns during landing and cutting put a lot of strain on the ACL and are one of the main risk factors for injury. A dynamic assessment can identify any biomechanical errors and help establish an individualized exercise program to fix them.
  • Do a variety of exercises. There isn’t one magical exercise that will strengthen your ACL. A typical program will focus on balance, proprioceptive exercises, single leg stability, jump training, plyometrics, and agility drills.
  • Strength training! Key muscles play a role in preventing knee injuries, including the core muscles, hip abductors and hip external rotators.
  • Rehab your injuries. Whether it’s your hip, ankle or knee, you need to address the injury sooner rather than later in order to prevent long-term problems and further injury. For example, ankle instability (i.e., from ankle sprains) can put you at an increased risk for ACL injury. More specifically, if your ankle is unstable during landing and cutting, the knee will be loaded abnormally, putting more strain on the ACL.
  • Start using a warm up program like FIFA 11+, which consists of a dynamic warm up combined with strengthening, balance exercises, and plyometric drills. It has been shown to be effective in decreasing all lower extremity injuries, especially ACL injuries. However, its maximum benefit is with athletes who perform the program on a regular long-term basis.

Hamstring and Calf Injuries

Injuries to the hamstring and calf muscles are common among soccer players due to the repetitive kicking, sprinting and jumping involved in the sport. Re-injury of these muscles is also an issue affecting many athletes long term, with roughly 30% of athletes suffering a re-injury to the hamstring, and 63% to the Achilles within 2 years after initial injury. Continue reading more here.

Ankle Injuries

Roughly 35% of all soccer injuries occur in the ankle, with an average time lost from play of about 48 days. With the high prevalence and long recovery time associated with ankle injuries, identifying modifiable risk factors and prevention strategies is key to keeping athletes healthy on the field. Continue reading more here.

If you’re currently injured, book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, chiropractors, athletic therapists or massage therapists in order to help get you back on the field healthy and pain-free. If you’re not currently injured, the therapists at Sheddon can get you started on an injury prevention and strengthening program by working on your specific weaknesses and imbalances to help prevent any future injuries. If you’re looking for a sports medicine clinic in the Oakville and Mississauga area that has great therapists AND will get you results quickly, contact Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic at 905-849-4576.

Nessler et al. (2017). ACL Injury Prevention: What does the research tell us? Curr Rev Musculoskeletal Med. 10:281-288.

SPSC: A Sports Medicine Clinic for ALL Athletes

In every profession there are individuals and companies that are passionate about what they do, while others just seem to go through the motions. When you’re searching for a Sports Medicine Clinic you need to do a bit of research and find one that offers it all.  They do exist; great therapists, flexible hours, expertise, and a commitment to work with you in order to get you better. Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic takes pride in offering patients the best care they deserve. How is Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic different from every other physiotherapy clinic in Oakville/Mississauga?

Expertise/Level of Therapists

At SPSC, our mission is to offer the most up-to-date treatments by some of the best therapists in the Halton region. All of our therapists have completed extensive post-graduate education across a variety of specialties, including concussion rehabilitation, acupuncture and several other manual therapy courses. All of us at SPSC are committed to providing the most effective treatment possible.

Multi-disciplinary Team

SPSC offers expertise in Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Athletic Therapy, Massage Therapy, Pedorthists and Sports Medicine Physicians. Having all these disciplines under one roof makes it more convenient for patients, and easier for therapists, to collaborate and communicate together in order to provide a more thorough approach to your rehabilitation. Having a Sports Medicine Physician on site is also a huge bonus, as they work with our therapists to help manage patients, guide rehabilitation and facilitate referrals to specialists, diagnostic testing, etc.

Focus on Sports Injuries and Athletes

Treating athletes is a whole different ballgame. At SPSC, we have been treating athletes of all ages and levels, including clientele from a variety of major sports teams and organizations, such as the TFC, NHL, OHL, national level swimmers, runners and Olympic athletes for over 10 years. We understand the demands and needs of athletes and strive to get them back to their sport as quickly and as safely as possible.

Team-Based Therapy

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic works with teams and individual athletes throughout their entire season, coordinating with coaches, trainers, as well as strength and conditioning specialists to ensure that everyone working with the athlete is on the same page. During preseason our therapists play an important role evaluating strength, flexibility, stability and balance to identify limitations, asymmetries and inefficient movement patterns, which may lead to injury during the season. Early identification of weaknesses, tightness, poor stability or inefficient patterns could help prevent future injuries, as each athlete is given an individualized exercise program to target their weaknesses. During the competitive season, SPSC plays a vital role in managing and rehabilitating any athlete who sustains an injury and guiding their safe return to sport. Our therapists stay in communication with the coaches and training staff to ensure that they are aware of the athletes progress and limitations.

Concussion Management

Concussion management programs have become a major focus in sports medicine clinics, due to increased public awareness and recognition of concussions. Our therapists at SPSC have undergone extensive training with the Complete Concussion Management program in order to be educated with the most up-to-date concussion management strategies. In addition, we have successfully treated hundreds of sport-related concussions and have a network of specialists, including sports medicine physicians, vestibular physiotherapists, chiropractors and athletic therapists. We also offer the most comprehensive and research proven concussion baseline testing of any sports medicine clinic in the Mississauga and Oakville area. If you want to organize a time for your team or group of athletes to come in and get their concussion baseline tests completed, we do offer significantly discounted rates for teams and/or groups.

If you are looking for a Sports Medicine Clinic in the Oakville and Mississauga area that has great therapists AND will get you results quickly,  contact Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic at (905) 849-4576.

Oakville Soccer Club 2017 Concussion Baseline Testing Invite

Dear OSC Parents, Players, Staff,

Concussions make up roughly 22% of all soccer-related injuries. One of the biggest concerns following a concussion is the possibility that an athlete returns to sport before the brain has fully healed; sustaining a second compounding concussion has the potential to significantly delay healing and/or cause irreversible brain damage.

Research has shown that symptom resolution occurs much sooner than brain recovery, which may put athletes at risk for returning to sport too quickly–especially if sport clearance is based solely on symptoms.

How are health practitioners, coaches, and parents supposed to know when an athlete is ready to return to sport? In order to know when an athlete has fully recovered, the different areas of the brain that could potentially be affected with a concussion must be assessed, including:

 

  • Balance;
  • Strength;
  • Reaction time;
  • Neurocognitive performance;
  • Visual processing.

 

These different test results need to be compared to pre-injury values in order to know when an athlete has returned to their normal pre-concussion baseline values. As such, the best way to ensure that you return to sport safely following a concussion is to get baseline tested before a concussion even occurs.

At Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic we offer the most comprehensive concussion baseline testing of any sports medicine clinic in the Oakville and Mississauga area.

If you have further questions regarding concussions, concussion baseline testing, or would like to book an individual or team baseline, please call us at (905) 849-7856.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: The season has already started, are we too late for concussion baseline tests?A: NO! Preseason is ideal, but anytime during the year is better than no baseline.

Q: Will the cost be covered through my insurance?
A: The cost of the baseline is covered under most Extended Health Plans since it’s administered by a physiotherapist.

Q: My child had a baseline done over a year ago, why should we do it again?
A: 
As young athletes mature, their baseline scores can change greatly from one year to the next. Therefore, it is recommended that athletes get a baseline at the beginning of each season.

Q: Isn’t the ImPACT test enough?
A: No! Computerized neuropsychological tests, such as the ImPACT test are only assessing one aspect of concussions, neurocognitive function. In order to properly manage concussions, a baseline test must be multidimensional, assessing the full spectrum of concussion outcomes (i.e., balance, reaction time, visual processing, physical capacity AND neurocognitive function). In order to know when an athlete has fully recovered, the different areas of the brain that could potentially be affected with a concussion must be assessed prior to and after a concussion.

If you have further questions regarding concussions, concussion baseline testing, or would like you book an individual or team baseline, please call us at (905) 849-7856.