We regularly get clients in the clinic frustrated or disappointed with injury, which is an entirely natural and understandable response. However if we think of it optimistically then the majority of the time the injury has come about from being active. In a population that is constantly being told that obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc is rising – then being active is a great thing. I always tell clients that if we were never meant to get injured, then we wouldn’t be good at healing. Our bodies are dynamic and will adapt to stimulus under the right load – Physiotherapist are excellent at telling you when to load and what to do to give you the optimal environment to get better.
(recent news article from New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists President in response to ACC article discussing the increase in costs of injuries from dancing and skateboarding in the Sunday Star Times)
Focus on the fun of physical activity and the positive effects to your health, not the risks say physiotherapists. “Let’s celebrate our active population,” suggests Jonathan Warren, President of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists. “Isn’t it wonderful that so many more New Zealanders are getting into dancing, skateboarding, jogging, fitness training, weightlifting and tennis? We’re missing the point altogether if we highlight only the risks and costs of injuries and not the importance of fitness and the potential health dollar savings related to this.
“The truly unsustainable costs – to individual health and to the health system – arise from inactivity,” Mr Warren commented in response to reported increases in injury claims resulting from these activities. “I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for all New Zealanders to be active. We should all take sensible precautions to reduce injuries, but we should not let the fear or cost of injuries put us off being active. In New Zealand we have a highly competent physiotherapy workforce to promote and support active lifestyles.
“I agree with the Dancing With The Stars contestant who said it’s awesome so many people are giving it a go instead of just watching.”
Physiotherapists advise people to take some basic precautions when starting a new activity:
Go to a teacher or trainer qualified in your activity. Ask about experience and credentials.
Start slowly and learn the basics. Extend the scope of your activity gradually.
Warm up first – cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are more vulnerable to injury.
Avoid putting pressure on areas of your body you know cause you problems. If you’re unsure, ask a health professional such as a physiotherapist.
If you have a serious medical condition, consult an appropriate health professional about how best to start your chosen activity.
“It’s ironic that in the same month that stomach stapling is promoted as a saving to the health dollar, an increase in participation in dancing is viewed negatively. Keep active and have fun, for your health’s sake,” Mr Warren says.Heath