If you are an athlete, regularly and repetitively using your joints such as your knees in running or running based sports or your hips and knees in jumping sports like basketball, you may be concerned about your risk for joint problems and injury or for your need for replacement later in life. This is a valid concern and one that is important for you to be aware of. There are however, preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of problems later or minimize the chance that you will need a replacement:
Visit a Physical Therapist Regularly
Even if you don’t have pain or any area of particular concern, developing a relationship with a physical therapist and having a regular visiting schedule is an important part of your success as an athlete. When you visit your therapist regularly he or she will get a good idea of how your body works and operates in optimal health. This means that they will be able to know very quickly when it is not functioning optimally and be able to offer you early stage treatment. In many cases, injuries can be reversed or prevented when caught early enough, and a physical therapist can play a big role in doing this.
Get Remedial Massages
Just as you should have a regular relationship with a physical therapist, you should have the same with a sports massage therapist. Remedial massages should become a weekly or bi-weekly occurrence for you, where you visit a masseuse to have your muscles released and properly massaged, reaching the deep tissue that may not easily be accessed without the knowledge and experience of a professional. Be sure you are visiting someone who is experienced in working with athletes so they know the specific techniques to apply and the areas to focus on to ensure improvements and no further injury risk.
Do Your Rolling
From foam rolling to ball rolling, there is a lot of rolling out that needs to happen for recovery and injury prevention in the maintenance of your joints and in the interest of maximizing your athletic performance. Muscles, joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, and many other structures functional in movement all come together within the body at certain places and when one isn’t functioning optimally or is injured or fatigued, the others are affected. Being mindful of the need to focus on all components is an important part of your prevention and rolling out your fascia with a ball or foam roller is a great way to do that.
When you are an athlete, your ability to stay true to your sport and perform at a high level is of utmost importance. If you need further assistance, be sure to visit your local orthopedic specialist.
OSI’s physical therapy partner is Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine (APTSM). APTSM is the largest independent provider of comprehensive Physical and Occupational Therapy in Northeastern Wisconsin, recognized nationally by the American Physical Therapy Association as one of the top private practices in the country.
APTSM’s mission is to provide individualized care based on clinical expertise with commitment to patient advocacy, education, and community service. APTSM has over 20 sites across Northeast Wisconsin (including a location on the OSI Appleton campus) to serve you close to home, staffed by therapists active within your own communities. Call APTSM at 920.991.2561 to get started.
OSI and APTSM are proud members of NOVO Health.