Lifestyle » Health
Injuries are one of those things that occur more often than not in most active people. The weird truth is, the more you move around the more prone you are to get injured in one way or another and in big and small ways.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of injuries out there and they can be treated in a variety of ways. You also don’t necessarily need to be taking part in some form of sport in order to sustain an injury.
To give you an example, you could sustain a back injury in the comfort of your home simply from bending down to pick up something off the floor with the incorrect technique.
Injuries can be caused by a multitude of things. The most obvious is actual accidents and crashes in cars or on bikes.
Then there are injuries caused by the lack of muscle strength and conditioning. These are the kinds that you sustain while out running, cycling, hiking or even bending down to pick up clothes off the floor.
Adding to the lack of muscle strength and conditioning is sometimes incorrect technique. For example, many people are unaware that bending at the waist to pick an item off the floor can easily hurt the lower back.
Even deciding to descend two steps at a time when you are in a hurry can lead to ankle, knee, hip or back injuries if you land incorrectly or simply from the impact. So injuries can essentially happen anywhere, anytime.
There are a variety of ways and habits we should instil in our day to day activities to avoid or prevent injuries.
For example, when it comes to picking up items off the ground, we should in fact stay as upright as possible and bend at the knees in a squatting position. This also applies to when we pick young children up.
The choice of footwear can also cause injuries so if you want to prevent injuries, ensure that you use the correct footwear, especially for activities like running, walking and hiking. With incorrect footwear, it’s easy to land in the wrong way and twist an ankle, a knee or hurt your back.
So, technique plays a big role in the prevention of injuries. In fact, strengthening and conditioning our bodies from head to toe is probably the best ammunition.
I remember when I trained for a triathlon, I swam, cycled and ran, plus did strength training in the gym. I remember feeling exceptionally conditioned, literally from head to toe.
The three sporting codes condition different muscle groups and the additional strength training rounded it off. I don’t remember ever having aches and pains throughout my preparation for the triathlon and for some months thereafter.
Depending on the severity of an injury, they can be treated a few ways.
When injured, most people hardly run to a doctor or a specialist as the first act of healing. We like to treat ourselves to health. There is a principle called RICE and it stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
As a biokineticist, I usually suggest that people start with using the RICE principle. Of course, it doesn’t apply if the injury is a broken limb.
Some people turn to anti-inflammatory tablets and even though they are not ideal, for injuries that lead to inflammation they usually work to reduce it and with the reduction comes relief from pain.
I have to add that ice is a natural anti-inflammatory so if possible, start with it before popping anti-inflammatory tablets.
Some people will stretch in order to help the healing process along. Yes, it sometimes works but if not then outside help is needed.
Some injuries lead to muscle strains and can only be resolved by visiting a specialist like a physiotherapist, chiropractor or massage therapist.
Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and co-founder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego. zulu; Twitter: @letshegom; Facebook: Letshego Zulu
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