Preventing Injury In Young Athletes

Identifying and reducing risk factors in sports in especially important in young athletes. A review published in “The Adolescent Athlete” journal found that up to 50% go injuries could be avoided with preventative measures for youth participating in sport. Some key items to consider when looking at preventing injuries include:

  • A pre-season screening program to identify muscle imbalances, weakness, previous injury locations and progress of healing at those sites. Waiting for an injury in-season is cuter productive for all athletes but especially young ones.
  • An off-season general strength and conditioning program. This should be aimed at maximizing an athletes general movement skills, sport specific injury prevention through balance and strength and general mobility.
  • Awareness of how growth affects athletes from not only a performance point of view but also how growth impacts muscles, strength and co-ordination, especially in the lower limbs.
  • Awareness of how specific skill sets impact the body through repetitive stress and how to prevent that stress through load management, practice balance and body awareness.
  • Early intervention is always the best course of action when dealing with a young athlete. At first sign of dysfunction, even without pain a professional should be consulted to ensure prevention of exacerbation on the condition. “Toughing it out” leads to more issues down the line.
  • Understanding that pain is not a “normal part of sport”. The old adage “No pain, no gain” needs to be scrubbed from the sporting world. Play and practice smarter and pain can be avoided in all sports.

If you are a coach, parent or athlete looking for more information on these or any sports injury related items, feel free to contact us at any time. 

Why trigger point therapy?

People often think of a massage as a relaxing experience, something they might do occasionally, or give as a gift along with a trip to the spa. Trigger point massage therapy is another kind of massage used to treat pain and physical dysfunction. Trigger points can develop in people from all walks of life. They can affect people of all ages, office workers and labourers, elite and weekend athletes, post surgical patients, people with acute pain from injury and people with chronic pain. Trigger point massage therapy can treat a wide variety of physical conditions such as:

– Migraines

– back pain.

– sciatica

– Carple tunnel syndrome

– achy persistent pain

– pain from Fibromyalgia

– post surgical pain and scarring

– soft tissue injuries related to sports

– TMJ dysfunction

Myofascial trigger points and pain.

TP’s were first brought to the attention of the medical world by Dr. Janet G. Travell. Dr. Travell, physician to President John F. Kennedy, is the acknowledged Mother of Myofascial Trigger Points. In fact, “Trigger Point massage, the most effective modality used by massage therapists for the relief of pain, is based almost entirely on Dr. Travell’s insights.”2 Dr. Travell’s partner in her research was Dr. David G. Simons, a research scientist and aerospace physician.

Trigger Points are very common. In fact, Travell and Simons state that TP’s are responsible for, or associated with, 75% of pain complaints or conditions.1 With this kind of prevalence, it’s no wonder that TP’s are often referred to as the “scourge of mankind”.

Trigger Points can produce a wide variety of pain complaints. Some of the most common are migraine headaches, back pain, and pain and tingling into the extremities. They are usually responsible for most cases of achy deep pain that is hard to localize.

A TP will refer pain in a predictable pattern, based on its location in a given muscle. Also, since these spots are bundles of contracted muscle fibres, they can cause stiffness and a decreased range of motion. Chronic conditions with many TP’s can also cause general fatigue and malaise, as well as muscle weakness.

Gluteus medius trigger points.

The Gluteus medius is located in your hip. It is important for hip stability, and functions to abduct the hip. When trigger points form in this muscle pain can be felt deep into the sacrum and the hip, as well as down the lateral thigh. Trigger points in this muscle are an often overlooked source of low back and sacral pain.

Planter fascitis and trigger points

Planter fascitis is a painful condition affecting the bottoms of the feet. It involves inflammation and tightness of the planter fascia, which is a tough layer of connective tissue on the bottoms of the feet. Trigger points in the calf and foot muscles are a leading cause of planter fascitis. These points not only cause the muscle to become tight which in turn causes the fascia to be tight, but the trigger point pain referral patterns of these muscle will cause pain to be felt in the bottoms of the feet and heal. These causes are often overlooked leading to ineffective treatment and prolonged suffering.

Trigger points in the Q.L. Muscle

the quadratus lumborum muscle or “q.l.” Is a muscle located in your lower back. It originates on the iliac crest and iliolumbar ligament, and interns onto the last rib and transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae. This muscle functions to stabilize the lumbar spine as well as laterally flex the spine. It will also hike the hip. Acting bilaterally it will extend the lumbar spine. Trigger points will often develop in this muscle. Trigger point referral will produce pain in the S.I. Joint and the lateral hip as well as the buttock. The pain referred into the S.I. Joint is often misdiagnosed as S.I. Joint dysfunction.

The rectus femoris muscle is one of your quad muscles. It acts primarily to extend the knee but it also helps to flex the hip. This muscle is often overloaded from athletic activity, but it also can become chronically shortened from prolonged sitting. Trigger points will refer pain deep into the knee producing a deep ache felt into the joint.

Trigger point massage therapy.

Trigger points are hyper irritable knots found in muscle tissue. These points form in a muscle due to overload stress. Trigger points can form anywhere, in any muscle. Once formed they irritate sensory nerves and produce pain, refered pain, weakness, and stiffness. Trigger points will also mimic symptoms of other conditions such as “sciatica” or Carple tunnel syndrome. Trigger points will not go away on there own, they must be manually released with hands on techniques like trigger point massage.

Trigger point referral patterns.

Myofascial trigger points form in a muscle due to overload stress. A portion of muscle fibers lock up into a knot. Once formed these points will irritate sensory nerves that are in proximity to the knot. When this happens,

trigger points have the capacity to refer pain along specific distributions or patterns that are well mapped out. sometimes pain may be felt at a great distance away from the actual point itself.