They are many different ways to treat and prevent injuries, many of which can occur when you are training for a particularly arduous sporting event. However, despite proper pre-cautions, injuries do happen and must be treated quickly and efficiently to allow you to continue training. This guide will provide an overview of a few different types of treatment, each of which has its own merits and is recommended by health professionals.
Acupuncture is a form of Eastern medicine that uses fine needles to stimulate sensory nerves within the body. The belief is that channels, known as Meridians, direct an energy force known as Qi around the body. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends acupuncture for a range of ailments, from back pain to headaches. If you decide to use acupuncture, always ensure the practitioner is well versed in The Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (AACMA) codes of practice. This will ensure that they practice safely and effectively.
Remedial and Swedish Massage
Remedial massage is a form of massage that aims to help the body recover from injury. Unlike Swedish massage, which uses long strokes and scented oils to relax muscles and reduce stress, remedial massage stimulates deep tissue with varying pressures for short periods of time. This can help to ease muscle knots and relieve tension, which may be causing pain and discomfort, particularly around the joints.
As mentioned above, Swedish massage promotes relaxation. Whilst it isn't considered a rehabilitation method in the same way that acupuncture and remedial massage are, it certainly has multiple psychological benefits and can ease tension in muscles, such as those found in the shoulders and upper back. This can in fact cause injury, particularly in runners who may tense up, and provide spiritual enhancement.
The foam roller is a method of self-rehabilitation. It looks like a long tube or pipe, and can come in various sizes and densities. Some are completely smooth, and others have small foam teeth covering them, which are used to target deeper muscles. The foam roller acts like a sports massage and can be done anywhere at home or in the gym, providing you have enough space to lie down. It consists of using your bodyweight to apply pressure to various areas such as the legs and back, before rolling the foam roller over the muscles. Areas of tension will often be painful; however, a few seconds 'kneading' the muscle can soon loosen knots, and with continued use the body learns to relax and it becomes more pleasurable.