13 Feb 2018 12:55 PM - Transitioning from one season to the next without injury

Beware of season transition overload...

Coming up to the end of the summer means that most winter sports are well and truly underway with preseason training, selection trials and/or pre season trial matches.

During this time it is important to monitor the effects that this can have on your body in terms of load.

Changing sporting codes with the seasons often means that different muscle groups will begin to be loaded (different than the dominant ones for the current season sport) - this is okay as long as it is done in a gradual manner, allowing the tissues to adapt and become tolerant to the loads placed on them. It can also unfortunately mean that some muscle groups that are used for both types of sporting codes can become overloaded (with the extra training, trials or matches). This is due to a sudden increase in demand placed on the dominant muscle groups without enough time for recovery in between sessions.

We see this type of overload regularly in the clinic during the periods where sporting seasons are in transition.

So how to avoid the overload?

A few simple tips may help with the transition period:

Make sure that you are trying to get in adequate periods of rest during the transition - this can mean trying to have 1-2 days off during the week. Or at least have a couple of individual days where you are resting the dominant muscle groups that have been heavily loaded.

Make sure that you have a good warm up and cool down routine that includes general stretching exercises for your upper and lower limbs and trunk. And of course make sure that dominant muscle groups receive special attention..!

Invest in recovery time - this can include using the dreaded ice packs or ice baths, compression therapy, recovery massages, physio (or other) treatments as needed.

Communicate with trainers and coaches to give them feedback on how your body is feeling so that they can hopefully adjust training loads to avoid problems from developing.

Most importantly once a problem begins to occur deal with it immediately - seek advice and possibly treatment rather than trying to "run it out" and continue playing/training with it... this doesn't usually end in a good result..!

By Matt Walls

Prinicipal Physiotherapist