As we age our bodies are more affected by sports injuries and general repetitive use injuries. While these can cause pain, they need not cause a lower quality of life. We'll discuss how physiotherapy and massage therapy can help keep you moving well into your later years.
Sports injuries that were nothing but an annoying, occasional pain in our mid-twenties and early thirties all of a sudden can become major issues in our forties and fifties. Some of the most common sports injuries and injuries that crop up in middle age are:
- Ankle sprain
- Groin pull
- Hamstring strain
- Shin splint
- Knee injury: ACL tear
- Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome
- Tennis elbow: Epicondylitis
Even one of these injuries, if left untreated, can result in years of pain, stiffness, and loss of movement. Once you arrive in middle age, however, these injuries can flare up, again and again, causing other stress injuries to occur as well.
Along with the above list, stress fractures are also a very common injury in middle age. This is likely due to the deterioration of bone as we age, but it can be avoided with proper training form and weight bearing exercises. Once it occurs, however, it is going to take some time to heal.
The way to deal with these issues is not to continue to ignore them, but instead to get help through your therapist and move into physical therapy. Continuing to do nothing about these injuries will not help them get better. In fact, ignoring already painful issues can cause other injuries to arise because of overstressed muscles that try to compensate for the injured areas. Once the injury has been diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe a course of action for your injury.
Physiotherapy and massage therapy are both ways that a therapist may choose to help you treat a new or old injury. A physiotherapist will help rebuild your strength, balance, flexibility, and confidence in your movement. The physiotherapist will assess your range of motion and assign you a series of exercises. You may be instructed to practice these, or other exercises at home. It is important to try to follow your physiotherapist's instructions as closely as possible in order to obtain the best possible outcome.
Massage therapy can be a great way to deal with the lingering pain from old sports injuries or from those run of the mill aches and pains. Managing this pain can have positive psychological effects. Keeping your pain levels low can also encourage you to stay active and keep moving. Massage is a great counterpoint to the exercises given by your physiotherapist too. After working the muscles massage can help keep them loose and flexible, as well as relatively pain-free.
All in all, these sports injuries and aging bodies don't have to slow us down! When we use physiotherapy and massage to help keep our bodies as healthy as possible we can look forward to many more years filled with fun!