Most of us are used to requesting treatment for our body only after getting an injury.
But this is not the best way to take care of our body. The injury is often caused by the accumulation, over time, of stress or micro-traumas of our musculoskeletal system.
In fact, one of the most common muscle issues, like knots, they are present in the muscles at the beginning with a small volume formation. After weeks and months of continuous stress and overloading, they increase their volume leading to muscle pain or strain, inflammation, and injury.
Physiological Process of a Muscle Injury:
Once the injury has occurred, after the healing phase, scar tissue formation may occur, making the muscle tissue weaker and less flexible. Scar Tissue occurs when there is a medium, big muscle tear or strain. The presence of scar tissue is a condition that can increase the risk of re-injury as it creates a muscle’s weak point.
Scar tissue is formed mainly by collagen, a non-elastic tissue that decreases muscle power and flexibility. So after the injury scar tissue substitutes muscle fibers, creating a non-elastic structure of the muscle. This structure reduces the power and flexibility of the muscle in that particular area of formation.
Scar tissue formation can be avoided or reduced if the injury has treated properly in the early phase of the injury. You could leave the injury heals by itself but the chances of high scar tissue formation increase a lot.
So it is very important to try to avoid injuries!
How to Prevent a Sports Injury:
During the training period, is very important to check your muscle condition. Even if you don’t have any particular muscle pain or issue, It is good practice to do a sports treatment like a sports massage, to check and treat small stiffness and knots that don’t produce any symptoms too.
You can’t imagine how many people are surprised when I find knots and little muscle issues that they never thought to have during routine sports therapy!
During the accumulation phase of muscles’ knots and stiffness ( Training Period ), we can act on them to block the process and avoid the onset of the actual injury ( muscle strains, tendon inflammations, muscles’ tears ). So thanks to the periodic treatment of the musculoskeletal system we can keep our body always in an optimal condition and more effective in carrying out sporting practices and daily life.
If you don’t have time or you can’t afford a regular sports treatment, the best way to prevent muscle injury and muscle stiffness is to do more stretching that I consider the best workout to improve the muscles’ flexibility and joints’ mobility.
The best Injury Prevention Treatments:
The key factor for an effective preventive sports therapy is to treat not only the trigger points ( where the athlete has pain or feels stiffness ) but to find and treat the little muscles issues that don’t manifest their symptoms yet and the athlete was not aware of.
The periodicity of the treatments is very variable and subjective.
There is no regularity in treatments valid for all as it depends on many factors of daily life:
-Type of Job.
– Type of physical activity or sport.
– Weekly training hours.
– Amateur / recreational or professional training.
– Musculoskeletal conditions.
Based on all these factors, generally speaking, we can have a prevention plans that start from 2 Treatments a week until 1 treatment every 6-8 weeks.
For example, for runners who want to take on a marathon, it is important to organize a treatments program that extends during the training period and immediately after the competition.
Example of a Marathon Treatments Plan ( 4 Treatments ):
- 6 weeks before the Marathon.
- 3 weeks before the Marathon ( generally after the last long run training )
- 4-5 days before the Marathon.
- 1 week after the Marathon.
So the concept that summarizes the whole post and that I repeat always to my athletes is “ don’t wait for the pain but anticipate it”!
With this concept in mind, you can save money ( after an injury you need many treatments to cure it ) and you can increase the quality and performance of your muscles!