Tag Archives: sports med clinic

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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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.

running shoe design Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

Is Barefoot the way to go? New Research in Running Shoe Design

20160202_143217

Whether you’re a veteran marathon runner or newbie at jogging, we’ve all experienced the daunting task of trying to find the perfect running shoe. The criteria are usually pretty standard: comfort, affordability and look. This seems pretty basic until you approach the running shoe display and have dozens of shoes staring back at you. In this blog we’re going to discuss some of the recent research on running shoe design and injury prevention.

What are the different types of shoes?

Minimalist:

These are running shoes that mimic a barefoot running style. They are flexible, lightweight and have a low heel to toe drop. A low heel–toe drop simply means that there is less “shoe” between your heel and the ground (see picture below, the shoe on the left has a low heel-toe drop vs the shoe on the right). It has been shown that a low heel-toe drop encourages a mid-forefoot strike pattern, as opposed to a big chunky heel that encourages heel striking.20160203_141814Some common brands include Vibram Fivefingers, New Balance Minimus and Nike Free.

Neutral

These are meant for the average foot that doesn’t over-pronate or supinate. They are cushioned and have support, but have very little correction for any biomechanical issues.

Stability

These are meant for people who have low arches and mildly pronate during walking. There is medial and lateral support built into the shoe to help control the amount of pronation.

Motion Control

These are meant for people who have really flat feet and severely over-pronate. They provide a lot of biomechanical support to prevent the foot from falling in. You would not wear an orthotic with this type of shoe since it already is meant to correct foot alignment.

For years running shoe selection has been based on your foot shape and arches. For example, if you had flat feet and over-pronated, you would be given a motion-control shoe. Unfortunately, there is little to no research to support this method of shoe selection (Knapik et al., 2014). Furthermore, research has shown that motion-control and stability shoes don’t always control foot pronation or lower leg biomechanics, nor do they prevent injuries or lead to increased comfort.

So why do salespeople and Runners World magazine still advocate their running shoe selection based on your arch type and biomechanics? Perhaps because running shoes are a billion dollar industry and they don’t want you to know about the conflicting research.

If running shoes aren’t doing what they’re meant to do, is barefoot the way to go?

With the increased popularity in barefoot and minimalist running, a plethora of research has emerged around the topic. So what does the research show in terms of traditional running shoes vs barefoot/minimalist shoes? Research has shown that traditional running shoes will change your natural biomechanics, causing heel striking, pronation, and improper knee alignment. As a result, they also lead to a decreased cadence and increased vertical loading; all of which have been shown to lead to injuries. On the other hand, running barefoot, or in minimal shoes, has been linked to mid- and forefoot striking, lighter strides, and proper alignment of the lower body, which has in turn resulted in a higher cadence and decreased ground reaction force. Although no long-term studies have been completed to date, the current research suggests that barefoot/minimalist running MAY actually prevent running related injuries.

Based on the promising research around barefoot/minimalist running, should you throw away the motion control shoes that you’ve worn for the past 20 years and buy a pair of minimalist shoes, and try to run your regular 10 km loop? NO!!! You will get injured and jump on the Vibram class-action lawsuit requesting your money back. Transferring to a barefoot or minimal running shoe has been linked to an increase in injury, IF the transition is done too quickly. The rule of thumb for transitioning to a minimal shoe is one extra minute per day starting with one minute. It’s a very slow progression and you must listen to your body. If your Achilles or the bottom of your foot starts to hurt, you’re transitioning too fast. Barefoot/minimalist running isn’t for everyone, and people with certain health conditions (i.e., diabetes with decreased sensation in the foot), foot deformities or current injuries should not be transitioning to a minimal shoe.

If you want to learn more about running shoe selection, I strongly recommend that you check out Blaise Dubois’s website. A couple years ago I had the pleasure of taking a course with Blaise, a physiotherapist and international leader in the prevention and treatment of running injuries. A lot of the research in this blog is based on his work around running shoe design and injury prevention. Through research he has developed a number of great tools for runners to help guide and educate them on proper shoe selection. Check out his site therunningclinic.com for more great information.

If you want to learn more about the prevention and treatment of running injures, chat with one of the therapists at Sheddon.

Knapik et al. Injury-reduction effectiveness of prescribing running shoes on the basis of foot arch height: summary of military investigations. Journal of Orthopaedic Sports Physical Therapy. 201444:80512.

Sheddon Physioyherapy Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga front desk staff

Our Front Desk Staff, More than a Friendly Smile

 

 

You will always be welcomed at Sheddon Physiotherapy with a warm smile from one of our front desk staff. Although they are busy answering phone calls and scheduling patients, they are always available to answer any questions or problems you may have regarding insurance coverage, payments, and/or paperwork. They go above and beyond to ensure the clinic runs smoothly and every patient is well taken care of.  Don’t forget to say hello on your way in.

Anabela

Anabela Staff

Anabela joined the team after working for 9 years in the Salon & Spa industry. She has had various positions ranging from receptionist to Hairstylist. Anabela loves the daily interaction with clients and says it’s a pleasure to have joined and to be working with such a great team.

Saskia

saskia

Saskia has been part of the Sheddon Team for 5 years. She started with us as part of her co-op placement in high school and is now studying part-time at Carleton University towards a degree in Psychology. You will usually see Saskia at the front desk; she will be there to greet you with a smile and help assist you as best she can.

Vicky

vicky

Vicky has been working at Sheddon since August of this year. She’s in her last year of high school, currently trying to navigate her way through daunting university applications. She’s Editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper, loves volunteering with kids and singing. She has enjoyed her time at Sheddon, all while getting to know a lot of great people.

Adham

adham

Adham is currently a Grade 12 student at Iroquois Ridge High School. Working at Sheddon for over a year has inspired him to consider Kinesiology as a pathway for post secondary studies. He is also very interested in Journalism and Law as other career options. He loves working with people, talking with our patients and getting to know everybody.

Dolly

dolly

Dolly is a busy mother of 4 children. She has worked in various positions as a receptionist and data entry operator over the last 25 years. She recently rejoined the workforce with Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic as a receptionist. She enjoys the friendly atmosphere with both the Sheddon team and clients.