Osteopathy Awareness Week targets sports injuries

Monday, 16 April, 2018

Osteopathy Awareness Week targets sports injuries

Now the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games have been completed, there is a growing focus on preventing sports injuries.

Almost two-thirds (59%) of Australians participate in sports, and a staggering one in three (37%) struggles with a sport-related injury each year.

During Osteopathy Awareness Week (15–21 April), Jessica Gallagher, an Australian Olympic and Paralympic athlete, has teamed up with Osteopathy Australia to encourage people to try new sports while avoiding injuries.

“As individuals we are all unique and each sport we participate in is unique. By thinking about what our sport may require of us it allows us the opportunity to reduce the likelihood and mitigate injuries before they happen,” said Gallagher.

“Transitioning between sports has and always will be incredibly challenging. There is a very high risk of injury and dysfunction, as an athlete’s body is so finely tuned to suit their particular sport.”

Osteopathy is a drug-free therapy for injury and can be used as a preventative measure to prepare the body when transitioning between sports. The technique includes stretches, massage and mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues to maintain optimum physical condition. Osteopaths offer exercise rehabilitation, exercise advice or prescription, lifestyle advice and education where appropriate. Sports osteopaths can enhance performance and improve muscle strength, rehabilitate and prevent future injuries.

“A lot of the general public think osteopathy is all about back pain; however, many weekend warriors and successful sportspeople see an osteopath to treat a wide range of sporting injuries and improve their performance,” said Antony Nicholas, CEO at Osteopathy Australia.

During Osteopathy Awareness Week, Gallagher and Osteopathy Australia will encourage people to #GiveItAGo, offering advice on transitioning between sports while preventing sports injuries.

“I’ve certainly had my fair share of injuries. Osteopathy played a critical role in my rehabilitation, but also in addressing the other areas of my body that were heavily affected,” said Gallagher.

“Our body is so wonderfully connected, when one part is injured the effects are widespread and osteopathy has played a huge role in ensuring I am the best version of myself.

“Sport provides us with wonderful physical, mental and social health benefits. Personally, I love the mix of excitement and nerves of doing something I have never done before and seeing where it might take me. If I don’t like the sport I just try something else!”

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Alija

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