Saturday, September 18, 2010

Injury Prevention Tips

Knee Injuries and Prevention

Knee injuries are something that most people deal with, espcially those involved in sports. Most knee injuries are caused from improper impact forces upon the knee joint because of improper lower body postural alignment. A good way to check if one has good lower body posture is to sit in a chair in front of a mirror.
Put a chair in front of a mirror and sit down slowly (as in take 8-10 seconds on the descent). Watch your lower body as you do the movement. If your feet look like they are slightly falling in towards each other or your knees are coming towards one another, you are one of the 'knee injury prone'. This is a sign of a few things going on in your alignment, probably that you have tight adductors (inner thigh muscles) as well as tight plantar flexors (soleus and gastrocnemius). This causes most knees to go in as well as most feet to flatten.
A good way to try and prevent knee pain is to 1) Stretch your legs more to loosen them up, in combination with 2) try squatting while keeping the weight on the outsides of the feet and making sure the knees stay apart, either over or outside (laterally) of the toes. Doing both those things will strengthen the outer thigh muscles (like the iliotibial band) and help your knees operate properly based upon your neuromuscular anatomy.

Alleviate Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is known as an 'Overuse Injury' in most cases. People usually end up using way to much shoulder and wrist action while playing the game, and not enough rotational movement. If this is an ailment that is bothering you, probably avoid just flexing and extending the wrist. Yes, rest the elbow, but work on your rotational movement more importantly. If rotational movement (abdominal rotation) is not worked on, then the injury will only continue to be present. By training your body to rotate (especially when playing tennis) the elbow pain should improve, for now you will not just be hitting the ball with your arm, but with the rotational forces in your torso as well.

Low Back Pain and Prevention

Almost all low-back pain can be attributed to a 'rounded' lower back. What this means is that instead of having an arch that in a sense makes your butt stick out, your lower back rounds during exercise making you look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Avoid this at all costs, please!

The shape of your spine should look like a thin 'S' shape, starting from your head and going down to your butt. When people exercise/workout, this 'S' shape should truly be staying the same and not turning into a 'C' shape. Ooh, no. A good tip to remember when exercising is to remember that your lower back should never be rounded. Always keep an arch so that you will avoid stressing any of the discs in your spine, ensuring that your spine will function properly and allow you to not have any low-back pain.

Sit Up Straight

See if you can program your computer to remind you to correct your posture every 20 or 30 minutes. This can reduce the neck and shoulder pain you get from slouching over the keyboard for extended periods of time. If the computer won't cooperate, remind yourself some other way, by getting your watch to beep or even using Post-it notes.

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