We have noticed that many people who are interested in both Eastern and Western medicine are often active individuals who participate in some sort of recreational or competitive sport. After having spoken with these people, many have indicated that their interest in different treatments and medicine came about as a result of an injury or chronic condition.
One other sentiment seems to be fairly common among these individuals as well, and that sentiment is they all wished they could have simply preventing the injury altogether, avoiding the need to search for effective medicine and treatments.
Therefore, we would like to briefly discuss some of the ways that an active individual can reduce the risk of orthopedic injury in sports or during their routine physical activity.
Stretching is a very common method of staying loose and preventing injuries. However, the effectiveness of various types of stretching has come into question, and some interesting evidence is beginning to emerge.
First, many people now find that dynamic stretching is one of the best methods of warming up before activity. This invovles first warming up gentle to get the body warm, and then performing a moving type of stretch. For example, leg swings are probably the most simple type of dynamic stretch. In this case, you would simply hold on to a railing or something else with one hand, and then kick your leg back and forth, in front and behind you. This will work to stretch the hamstrings and quadriceps, while also including a form of propriocetion and and allowing the muscles to become reaccustomed to rapdi fluxuations in contraction and relaxation. Just be careful, you don’t want to swing “hard”. Try ad stay relaxed ad use your muscles only as much as you need to.
After the sporting event or workout, a gradual cool down followed by static stretching is one of the best ways to recover on time for your next activity. Static stretching is the common type of stretchig that most people thik about, for example, a sit-ad-reach stretch for the hamstrigs.
Orthopedic braces are another effective option at reducing the risk of injury; however, these are best used when you have already sustained a previous injury. For exampe, an ankle sprain can permanently loosed the joint and lead to a lifeling higher risk of re-injury. Given we use our ankles anytime that we are on our feet, this can lead to a lot of problems. Therefore, many people find items like ankle braces to give them that extra level of stability while still allowing them to get out and enjoy life.
One thing to keep in mind is that braces will usually vary by degree of inury. If you have previously sprained your ankle, but can run just fine in a forward direction, then you want to balance funcionality with stability. This balance has been best achieved in ankle braces used by soccer players, whereby they have full movement in flexion and extension, but rolling the ankle is more restricted. Basketball is also similar, and in this case, the A2-DX brace has been shown to be highly popular even at the professional level, preventing sprains without hindering more functional movements.
Some people take various forms of medicine prior to physical activity in order to feel ok throughout the day. This can be either a good or bad idea depending on your condition, and is worthy of many articles alone. Very briefly, if you know something seems wrong, and you are using traditional pain mediciation like Tylonal prior to an event, this could actually mask the degree of your injury, and prevent you from seeking formal treatment when you should, so that’s something to keep in mind. If you know the exact extent of your injury, and you are currently being treated for it, then this may not be so much of a problem. More often, other traditional medications like NSAIDs can help reduce inflammation, so these a re a little more functional, but can also mask pain in some cases, which may or may not be preferred.
At the end of the day, as long as you are aware of these types of issues and strategies, you are on the right track. If we lived in a perfect world, this site wouldn’t be necessary, as all injuries, conditions, and diseases would be prevented, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Nevertheless, doing everything you can to maintain your health and prevent injuries will save you a lot of time, energy, and pain in the long run.