Physios report an increase in number of sports injuries

PHYSIOTHERAPISTS have seen an upsurge in sporting injuries in the wake of the Olympics as more and more people are inspired to get active.

Organisers of London 2012 have long hoped the Games would encouraged people to take up sport after seeing the exploits of athletes such as Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah.

And it seems that in Eastbourne there has been a positive impact on participation numbers.

In fact, the back page of last week’s Herald carried a plea for more sports coaches to come forward to meet the extra demand experienced since the end of the Olympics.

However, according to one local hospital, more people taking part has meant more people getting injured.

Now health experts are urging anyone trying out new sports to make sure they are fully prepared.

The physio team at BMI The Esperance Hospital has seen an increasing number of people are suffering from injuries as they try to emulate their medal winning heroes.

Recent research shows that they have experienced a 20 per cent increase in patients suffering from sports injuries during the summer period and the hospital’s physio manager was quick to make the Olympic link.

Ruth Brown-Little said, “The fact that more local residents have been inspired by Team GB and other sports heroes is fantastic and truly highlights the legacy the games could have in Eastbourne and across the UK.

“While we wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from becoming more active or taking up a sport it is widely acknowledged that newcomers to a sport or exercise are significantly more likely to be injured than individuals who have been training for many years.

“Experienced athletes are stronger and more coordinated than beginners.”

Running injuries were the most common complaints, closely followed by football and rugby, although gym injuries and tennis problems were also high up the list – with the later attributed to the relative recent success of Andy Murray.

The most regular injuries seen by physiotherapists were muscle pulls and sprains while shoulder impingement, neck pains and a torn meniscus were also highlighted as common injuries caused during sports and exercise.

“If people are inspired by the Olympics, Team GB or any of this summer’s sporting events, it is advisable they speak to a GP, physiotherapist or medical professional before embarking on an exercise regime,” explained Mrs Brown-Little, “especially if it’s been a while since they’ve done anything strenuous.

“It is then equally important to find out more about preventative measures such as, correct technique, warming up and cooling down, stretching, resting in between sessions and using the correct equipment in order to maximise the effectiveness of their exercise and also help prevent injury.”