Tag Archives: Physiotherapy

The Most Effective Hamstring Injury Prevention Program

Hamstring injuries have been reported as one of the most common injuries across a variety of sports that involve repetitive kicking and/or high speed running, such as soccer, track and field, football, and rugby. Re-injury rates are also an issue affecting many athletes long term, with roughly 30% of athletes suffering a re-injury to the hamstring within the first year. In order to prevent hamstring injuries it is important to understand WHY they occur, and to develop a prevention program which targets these risk factors.

The hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles, the biceps femoris, the semitendinosus, and the semimembranosus. Their main purpose is to bring the hip back and bend the knee. The majority of injuries to the hamstrings are strains to the biceps femoris long head muscle. Injury occurs mainly during sprinting, as the muscles contract eccentrically to decelerate the leg.

What are the Risk Factors?

Age
Unfortunately, the older you get, the higher your chance for hamstring injury. The age when the risk starts to significantly increase is 25 years old, with research suggesting a 30% increase in risk annually thereafter.

Decreased flexibility
Tight hamstrings aren’t the only problem; tight hip flexors and/or quads are also problematic.

Muscle Imbalance/weakness
Muscle imbalance within the lumbopelvic region and/or weakness in the hamstrings;

Previous injury
Previous injury to the hamstring, groin and/or knee.

The Most Effective Hamstring Prevention Program

Eccentric Strengthening Program
The majority of hamstring injuries occur during sprinting when the muscle is working eccentrically. As such, eccentric strengthening programs have been shown to decrease the risk of hamstring injury by 65-70%. The most popular and widely studied exercise for hamstring injury prevention is The Nordic Hamstring Exercise. We strongly encourage all athletes to add this exercise to their strengthening regime. However, it shouldn’t be the only hamstring exercise you do. While it has been shown to decrease the risk of hamstring injury significantly, it only activates part of the hamstring muscles (specifically the semitendinosus and short head of the biceps femoris). 80% of hamstring injuries occur to the long head of the biceps femoris, which is better activated with a hip extension exercise such as deadlifts. The most effective hamstring injury prevention program should focus on targeting all the hamstring muscles with both knee and hip dominant movements. Below you will find 2 different exercises: the nordic hamstring exercise and straight leg weighted deadlifts. We recommend doing both for the greatest benefit. See a progressive 12 week schedule below:

Frequency 2x/week x 12 weeks.
Week 1-3: 3 sets of 5-6 reps
Week 4-6: 4 sets of 6-7 reps
Week 7-9: 4 sets of 8-9 reps
Week 10-12: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Nordic Hamstring Exercise: Can be completed with a partner holding your legs or hooking feet under something heavy. Lower yourself forward, keeping your back and hips straight. Once you cannot go any further push yourself back into start position.

 

Weighted Deadlifts:

Work on your core
While strengthening the hamstrings is important, you can’t forget about everything else that helps support, align and coordinate the hips. If there is an imbalance around the hip such as tight hip flexors, weak glutes, etc., the hamstrings will be more susceptible to injury. In addition, exercise programs that focus on trunk stabilization and agility vs. a traditional program of ONLY hamstring stretching and strengthening post injury results in a quicker return to sport and significantly much lower reoccurrence rate (7% vs. 70%).

Running Program
Most hamstring injuries occur during sprinting, especially later in the game when fatigue sets in. Therefore, strengthening and isolating the hamstrings in the gym is essential, but you must also include interval speed training to improve coordination, large hip/knee joint torques, and explosive strength. Weekly sprint workouts have been shown to prevent hamstring injuries. Like all training loads, ensure the sprinting load (distance, reps and speed) is progressed gradually.

Where to go from here?

If you currently are suffering from a hamstring injury it is best to book an appointment with a therapist and get on an individualized rehab plan. If you are currently injury free and would like to stay that way, then add the above hamstring exercises to your current strengthening program following the 12-week plan. If you want more bang for your buck, then add some core and hip stability exercises as well. If you still have questions or want more guidance on injury prevention book an appointment with one of the Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine therapists at 905-849-4576.

Heiderscheit et al., (2010). Hamstring strain injuries: Recommendations for Diagnosis, Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention. Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 67-81.
Liu et al., (2012). Injury rate, mechanism, and risk factors of hamstring strain injuriesin sports. A review of the literature. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 92-101.
Prior et al., (2009). An evidence based approach to hamstring strain injury. A systematic review of the literature. Sports Health. 154-164.

Sheddon’s Annual Christmas Food & Toy Drive

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic (SPSC) has been a member of the Oakville community for over 10 years and strongly believes in being involved within the Oakville community and giving back to those who have supported us throughout the years, as well as helping those who are less fortunate. Overall the next few weeks, Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine will be collecting donations for its Christmas Food and Toy Drive.

Food donations are in support of the Oakville Fare Share Food Bank and will be collected until the new year.

  • Items needed: instant coffee, peanut butter, cookies + crackers, diapers (size 6 only), breakfast cereals, canned fruit, soups, powder laundry soap, side dishes (grains), etc.

Toys will be collected until December 18th, 2018 in Support of the Oakville FireFighters Toy Drive

    • The mission of the Oakville Firefighters Toy Drive is to ensure every local child has an opportunity to unwrap a gift of their own over the holidays. All donations are distributed directly to local families, institutions and community agencies supporting children and youth in Oakville and Halton Region.
  • All donations are greatly appreciated, however the area of greatest need are gifts for boys and girls ages 11-15 (ie., gift cards, backpacks, clothing (winter hats and gloves), hair accessories, cosmetics and  movie passes).

In addition, Physiotherapist Dana Clark will be donating his treatment time Friday December 14th from 6:20am-1pm. In lieu of payment for his treatment time he will be accepting donated toys/gifts for the Sheddon Toy Drive.

Make this Holiday Season Special for others.

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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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F45 Fitness Training Oakville

How Does F45 Training Complement Sports Medicine?

Goodlife, LA fitness, Crossfit or Lifetime? There are so many gym and fitness options for people to choose from. How can someone know what is right for them? One of the newest gyms to start popping up everywhere in the GTA over the past year are F45 Training gyms. What is F45 Training? How is it different from other gyms? Is it right for you? Recently I had the opportunity to get my butt kicked by their workouts and sit down with the owner of F45 Training Joshua Creek, Vanessa & Dan Andrews, to answer all these questions for you.

Lets start with the basics “What is F45 Training”?

“F” stands for functional fitness; “45” is the total number of minutes each workout lasts. In a nutshell, F45 Training is a group exercise class focusing on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and functional fitness movements. Every day offers is a different program (there are 31 different programs and over 3000 different exercises), so you will NEVER see the same workout twice.

Can every level do F45 Training?

F45 is geared to all fitness levels. Every F45 gym has video monitors to demonstrate the exercise technique at each station. In addition, the trainers spend the first few minutes of every class demonstrating each exercise, as well as showing ways to modify it in order to make it harder or easier. Trainers will also float around the room during class to help people modify the exercises as needed. Whether you are just getting into fitness and need a little hand holding and motivation, or you’re an athlete looking for a new challenge, F45 may be right for you.

Is F45 Training good for losing weight, building muscle or cross training for sports?

ALL OF THE ABOVE! F45 workouts combine interval, cardiovascular and strength training. All of which are proven to be effective workout methods for burning fat and building lean muscle.

How can F45 Training help Sheddon clients get stronger after an injury?

Once a patient has been cleared to return to the gym, F45 is a great option since it focuses on building functional fitness. Functional fitness focuses on movements that people need in order to function everyday. As a physiotherapist, I laugh when people tell me they avoid squats. Squats are essential for life, you need to squat to get on/off the toilet. Going to a gym and strictly working on isolating different muscles on different machines will get you stronger in those isolated movements. However, everyday life, sports and work activities don’t normally happen in isolation. Multiple muscles need to work together to perform movements such as carrying, lifting, pulling, pushing, etc. That’s why functional fitness and F45 is beneficial for injury prevention and post injury to get you stronger.

How can the trainers at F45 Training work together with therapists at Sheddon?

The team at Sheddon will gladly get in touch with the trainers at F45 and give them an update on what you can/cannot be doing. Based on these guidelines the trainers will modify the exercises as needed. There will be ongoing communication between the trainers and your therapist to ensure your safety and to prevent injury.

How can F45 Training prevent injuries?

Functional fitness focuses on muscles working together which will help get you stronger for doing everyday activities (i.e., lifting a child, carrying a heavy load, crawling on the floor with a grandchild, etc.). It improves your strength, cardio, mobility, flexibility and core stability. The programs are well balanced and target the whole body.

What do people love about F45?

  1. It’s fun!
  2. Every workout is different so people don’t get bored or plateau; they are constantly challenged and improving.
  3. Every F45 gym is like a small community where members motivate and challenge each other.
  4. F45 gyms take pride in staying super duper clean, no sweaty mats or dirty equipment.

If you want to know more about F45 Training Joshua Creek check out their website and contact Vanessa or Dan here https://f45training.ca/joshuacreek/. They also offer a free one week trial to see if it’s right for you.

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SLEEP: The Key to a Quick Recovery

Do you want to boost your athletic performance? Reduce your risk for injury? Improve your reaction time, accuracy and speed? The secret is easier than you think, and doesn’t cost a single cent. Yet, most young athletes often neglect this essential component of their training: SLEEP! Sleep is a vital component of the recovery process following intense training and competition. It provides both psychological and physiologically benefits. However, sleep deprivation is very common in young athletes due to extensive training schedules, anxiety, lack of awareness of the importance of sleep and poor sleep hygiene. Why is catching enough z’s so important and what can you do to ensure a better quality sleep?

Most athletes are well aware of the benefits of proper nutrition, skill training and conditioning to improve athletic performance. So what exactly happens while you’re sleeping that is so important? The body regenerates and repairs cells, and allows restoration of several systems such as the immune, nervous and endocrine system. It also releases hormones that help with recovery. Certain hormones such as growth hormone and androgens are only released during the deep sleep cycle and they are vital for muscle repair, muscle building and bone growth. Therefore, the quality of sleep you’re getting is just as important as the quantity.

Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of detrimental effects on your athletic performance (decreased reaction time, speed and strength), cognitive function (poor attention, concentration and motivation) and risk for injury (compromised immune function, impaired muscle damage repair). Studies have shown, even a single night of sleep deprivation can impair your cognitive and motor performance equivalent to alcohol intoxication.

Current guidelines recommend that 7-9 hours of sleep is essential for psychological (ability to learn, motivation, and memory) and physiological recovery (metabolism and inflammation). Moreover, athletes require an even greater quantity of sleep to recover from injury and intense training. If you’ve struggled with getting enough sleep, read the strategies below for some tips on how you can change your sleep habits:

  • Avoid stimulating activities prior to sleep and limit electronic device use at least 1 hour prior to bedtime;
  • The optimal sleeping environment should be cool, comfortable, noise-free and dark (to achieve these conditions you may need to use a fan, eye mask, ear plugs, light blocking blinds, white noise machine or app);
  • Keep daytime napping to a maximum of 30 minutes;
  • Limit exposure to bright lights in the late evening, as they can have an alerting effect and decrease the release of melatonin. (i.e., dim the lights, and limit LED screen use several hours before bed);
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening;
  • Stick with a consistent time for going to sleep and waking up.

Marshall et al., (2016). The importance of Sleep for Athletic Performance. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 38,1,61-68.

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