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Sports Rehabilitation and Tissue Tolerance

Soccer, gymnastics, ice skating, hiking, running, basketball, weight lifting. What do these all have in common? Injuries! 

What do sports injuries need? Sports rehabilitation! 

In order to rehab these injuries properly, we need to understand how they occurred in the first place. 

Some injuries happen because of a fall or collision. We can't prepare for these. 


                                             Portrait of a fitness man with foot pain over gray background

 

Tendonitis or tendinosis?



The other type of injuries are chronic overuse such as tendinosis or tendonitis relating to more acute inflammation. How we load our tissues is as important as how we fuel our bodies. 

In the case of tendonitis, loading the tissue with too much resistance or too many repetitions without adequate ramping can cause microtearing of the tendon. Ultimately causing inflammation and pain. While tendonitis and tendinosis seem to be used interchangeably, they are very much not the same thing. 

Tendinosis is the decrease in a tendon's collagen because of chronic use without time to rest and recover. This is your typical "overuse" injury. What is often thought of tendonitis, is usually tendinosis. 



So how do we treat and then appropriately load these tissues? 



We need to calm down the irritable tissue through various manual therapy techniques. This can look like dry needling, massage or more. The muscle itself needs to be primed to function as best as it can, before we start to stress it. (And stressing it IS important). 

So now what? 

Eccentric exercises (controlled lengthening of the muscle) has been shown time and time again to be the best way to treat various tendinopathies. 

Take for example, achilles tendinosis. One excellent exercise is heel raises off of a step, so that you can slowly lower past neutral. This is an eccentric exercise for the gastroc and soleus. 

                                                         Serious doctor holding the leg of a woman in a room
 
It looks like this: 

Once the tissue is calmed down, and is able to begin accepting body weight loads, we can progress to additional resistance. An exercise doesn't have to be high weight or high repetition in order to be effective. 

If you're struggling with a sports injury and you're not able to be as active as you want to be, give us a call!