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Are You Over Training Or Running With An Injury?


Biomechanical assessment

Running with an injury or over-training? Often it is best to go back to basics

Injuries can affect us all regardless of age, sex or ability. But can we manage or limit the number of times we get injured? We can by going back to basics.

But we are not talking about fitness levels and stretching. Instead we mean back to biomechanics.

By assessing, on a regular basis, your biomechanics you can help eliminate and prevent a number of injuries and problems that athletes suffer from. The body compensating for weak links can cause restriction that in turn can cause pain and injury.

Calf and hamstring injuries are commonly caused by a tight sciatic nerve. The muscles provide a protective spasm to the nerve during locomotion and if stretched or loaded sufficiently the muscles can spasm enough to cause themselves to tear - or cramp up - which can feel like a tear. By mobilising the nerve it releases tension in the muscles and reduces the likelihood of this event.

• Tight calves

TIGHT calves can cause over pronation. The dorsi-flexion (moving the ankle upwards) is not available from the ankle joint due to the tight calves, so it has to come from the sub talar joint. It comes as part of the pronation mechanism though and so increases the amount of pronation as well. This causes shin related injuries as well as knee and Achilles problems.

Remember that tight calves are often from a tight sciatic nerve, so by mobilising the nerve, we can help with preventing and normalise these injuries.

The effects our biomechanics have on our body and the vicious circle of injury and pain it can cause is shown again when discussing your hips and pelvis which are so important to our running but generally overlooked until the athlete is in severe pain or in fact injured.

• Rotated pelvis

A ROTATED pelvis can go unnoticed for many years until the compensations start to cause problems. Typically a leg length discrepancy (LLD) can result from a rotated pelvis and the leg must compensate for this. It’ll either flatten the foot (pronate it), bend the knee more, or drop the hip more. Pronation will increase the load on the leg (see ‘Tight calves’ section), and dropping the hip will increase the the spasm to the glutes / piriformis ‘prophylactically’, in other words preventatively, (and also if necessary), then we are helping to reduce all of the above.

• Assess yourself

AS a result of one of the largest studies in biomechanics by Galileo Health and distributed by HumanLab Sports we can all benefit from assessing our biomechanics, in the comfort of our own home. You do not need to be a clinician as they have developed a CD ROM software program that helps you assess yourself with the software prescribing the exercises needed to remove the problems and in turn prevent or normalise the body from developing them in the future.

As part of the program is injury prevention the CD takes you through a series of core stability work educating you on how to engage your core and to engage it while doing peripheral movements, so it becomes second nature to you when running.

It finishes off with the final section on the trunk and torso exercises.

Benefits of biomechanics

SOME athletes out there might not feel the need to help prevent a problem they don’t feel they have. So let’s look briefly at some of the other benefits biomechanics has on your performance. A tight sciatic nerve or tight piriformis (hip) can affect your stride length, your knee drive and your power output.

A tight sciatic nerve can affect your quadriceps output by as much as 15 per cent. The effect of biomechanics for the professional athlete and the novice for injury prevention or performance is a must have tool. It will help you prevent injuries, enjoy your running and help with your performance.

The program used in helping address any issues you may have now or in the future is worth having. But it doesn’t stop there.

It can be used as a training guide to indicate that you may be over-training or that a new technique or training plan is causing you problems.

GO AND take a look at the website http://www.humanlabsports.com and see what you think. The CD-ROM is priced at only $39.10

Submitted by:

Andrew Loughray

Managing Director of HumanLab Sports, heading a team of bio mechanists, kinesiologists, physiotherapists, strength and cardio-vascular specialists.





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