Although Chiropractic care can help to relieve and recover many injuries, prevention is always better than cure. Whether you’re starting the year with a resolution to take on a new challenge or continuing your existing love of fitness, sport, or even day-to-day activities; working some good habits into your daily regime could make a big difference to staying injury free in 2023.
Read on for ten ways to stay injury free.
Tune your technique and posture
Good posture is one of the most important preventative measures for back pain and other issues with the musculoskeletal system. Poor posture can put irregular strain on the muscles and joints and misalign the body, eventually resulting in pain or injury. In sports and exercise, poor posture can mean that the body is exerted in a misaligned manner resulting in a higher chance of injury and poor performance. When undertaking sport or physical activity, ensure that you learn the correct techniques and stances from the beginning to avoid future niggles and injuries.
Prepping your body with good posture can help avoid injuries throughout all walks of life. Simple daily exercises and corrective tricks can help you to straighten up and beat the slouch in your day-to-day life.
Stretching can help with posture as well as providing the body with the flexibility and mobility to cope with the strain put upon it by regular exercise, sport, or even day-to-day activities.
Stiffness in the joints can be a primary cause of injury. Supple muscles and joints with good mobility are less susceptible to injury, so incorporate some form of stretching into your weekly or daily regime.
Alongside stretching, strengthening exercises are an essential element in a holistic and injury-free fitness regime.
A strong body is a key element in injury prevention, especially if you enjoy cardio exercises like running or cycling.
Strength training helps to prepare the body for the impact it might incur from physical activity and building strong muscles, ligaments, and tendons protects the body from the endurance and strain of exercise; and it should improve performance too.
Dig into a healthy diet
Coupled with building strength and suppleness, a nutritional diet will also help to strengthen and support the joints and muscles.
Calcium and Vitamin D help to keep bones strong and avoid fractures or breaks; healthy fats can help prevent muscle inflammation; carbohydrates provide the energy needed during exercise; protein helps muscles to stay strong, grow, and repair; and Vitamins C and E provide antioxidants to protect the body’s cells.
Equally important to a healthy diet is making sure that you drink enough water – especially when exercising.
Insufficient water can mean muscle cramps, fatigue, and poor mental clarity: all of which can make you more prone to injury.
Be quick off the mark
Don’t wait for injuries to get worse to get them treated. That first niggle is when you should take action to treat a minor injury before it becomes a severe, and possibly irreversible, problem.
Get a professional opinion by speaking with your GP or Chiropractor sooner rather than later if you have an injury, even if it seems minor. And if you do get injured, make sure that you have fully healed before you resume physical activity.
Warm up; cool down
Cold muscles are more vulnerable to injury which is why it is so important to warm up and stretch before exercising. When the muscles are warmed up, they become more flexible and able to absorb the movements required of them for physical activity.
Cooling down after exercise is equally important to regulate the heart rate and alleviate the muscles of lactic acid which can cause muscle cramps and stiffness.
Rest and recover
When it comes to a healthy and injury-free exercise regime, your downtime is just as important as your active time.
The body needs rest days and sufficient sleep to recover, prevent injury, and optimise performance.
Protective gear is the right idea
If you’re playing sport – especially high-risk contact sport – protecting your body with the right gear is always the right idea.
Helmets; impact vests; face guards; wrist protectors; and shin, knee, chest, neck, shoulder, elbow, hip, and bum pads all protect your body from potential impact, falls, or injuries. Activity-appropriate footwear is also important – poorly fitting shoes or gear can increase your risk of injury.
Chiropractic care isn’t just for when you have pain or injury. An estimated 90% of world-class athletes use ongoing Chiropractic care to prevent injury and improve their performance. And the same principle applies to all active people who enjoy regular sports or exercise. Seeing a chiropractor regularly may help you to stay injury free and enhance your performance in 2023 and beyond.
If you’re experiencing niggles or injury, contact Homewood Chiropractic to find out how our dedicated team of Chiropractors can help.