What are you doing for the winter break?

When the summer sporting season is over do you think “that’s great, I’ll take a break”, or do you look for something else to occupy your time? A lot of us just feel we should give our bodies a break from all the physical abuse we put them through all summer; But how about giving your body a treat instead.


Remember all those

  •        dead legs,
  •        early morning backache,
  •        groin pain the morning after sport,
  •        the niggly slight ankle sprains you taped up and played on,
  •        the tight hamstring you struggled with at the end of the season,
  •        the sprained thumb you strapped for every match,
  •        the staved finger etc. etc. etc.


How about being nice to your-self and looking after all of these.

During my six years as physiotherapist to Kilkenny Senior Hurling panel and simultaneously to most of the local clubs I struggled endlessly to patch players up and get them ready for the next match; to get a three week injury back in just two and to treat players just so they could get back on the pitch. The knowledge that more needed to be done was there, but the time wasn’t. We could easily identify why injuries were happening and often knew what needed to be done but with pressures of training sessions, fighting for places on teams and keeping down full time jobs, there was little time left for extra physiotherapy treatment and specific home exercise programmes.

Time to think!

Now that the pressure is off, that my county involvement only extends to minor inter county hurling and football, and that many local clubs now attend other chartered physiotherapy clinics which have thankfully opened up in the area, we are now a lot more involved with the treatment of chronic or recurrent injuries and in the prevention of injury. This is an area that fascinates me, and frequently fascinates the sports people who we treat. They often find it hard to believe that the tightness or aches they’ve suffered for years can actually be sorted.

A few common complaints which are frequently very preventable are

  •        hamstring tightness and recurrent straining, click here
  •        quads tightness and recurrent straining
  •        groin pain,click here
  •        calf tightness or strains
  •        shin pain. click here

If you have suffered any of these this season and you think that you’ll be fine after the winter break what you need to consider is whether or not there are going to be any major changes, next year, in

  1. your job,
  2. your lifestyle,
  3. the amount of or type of training you will do.

If the answer to any of these is ‘no’ then the winter break may not be enough to break the injury cycle and stop your problems next season.

Take Control

Take these problems into your own hands, or talk to club management and see if they will cover you to get your injuries sorted, out of season while you have a little more time. Then seek out a chartered physiotherapist who will fully assess you, tell you what the problem is and work out a programme of exercises for you to follow. Kilkenny Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic specialises in interupting your pain cycles and sorting out your problems once and for all.

The Last Injury of the year!

If an injury is played on before it is fully healed, or if it occurs at the end of the season and receives no treatment, because the pressure is off, a player may be more likely to injure the same area next season, and this can be the initiation of a recurrent injury cycle.

The reason for this is that when any injury occurs, be it a dead leg, muscle or ligament injury, micro trauma will occur to the cells at the site of injury, an inflammatory reaction then occurs while fluid and waste products from cells are released into the surrounding tissue causing swelling. If the injury is not properly managed and the swelling promptly removed healing will occur in the form of an adhesion (internal scar) which binds the fibres of a muscle together, causing an area of reduced elasticity and hence reduced function.

The end result will be that when you try to build up muscle bulk, speed and strength there are fewer healthy mobile muscle fibres to strengthen and there will be a resultant weakened less flexible area within the muscle.

So sporting ladies and gentlemen, don’t leave that last injury just because the season is over.

Treat the injury with the respect it deserves or it will come back to haunt you!

And don’t forget ‘Prevention really is better than the cure’