Prehab Not Rehab
There’s a bit of a theme with us street athletes that we think we’re a bit invincible until we get injured – then we will try everything we possibly can before actually seeing a physio and getting the issue dealt with properly. It may seem obvious to point out, but if we were taking care of our bodies properly to begin with, knew the issues we might have and could exercise to strengthen those weaknesses, we’d have fewer injuries. That’s where Perform For Sport comes in.
Last week, I visited their centre in Radlett for a consultation. We discussed my training goals for the year before Adam Meakins, the physiotherapist did a series of tests to identify if I might have any weak areas or potential problems I need to work on. He looked at my posture, tested my flexibility, assessed my joints, did a gait analysis and looked at my core strength.
I was stunned that just by looking at my ankles he could see that my right Achilles was a little thicker than the left. The Perform for Sport centres are set up with real time Ultrasound scanning, so we did an Ultrasound on my ankle and discovered that indeed, my right Achilles is 1.5mm thicker. Adam explained that this is most likely because I’m a right handed person, so favour that side. As my right side is working a little harder to compensate for my weaker left side, it puts everything on that side under a little more strain.
Adam gave me some exercises that will prevent it getting any worse and hopefully reduce the thickening. Had that not been spotted, obviously, it could potentially become a much more serious issue. As Adam said, they prefer to think of this as ‘Prehab, not Rehab.’
If you’re serious about your training, these kind of tests are not only great, but also pretty vital in ensuring you’re doing the best for your body. Not to mention, you may end up saving a fortune on future physio if you know your problem areas beforehand.
Adam Meakins, specialist physiotherapist at Perform, an elite sports medicine centre in Spire Bushey Hospital, Hertfordshire – www.spireperform.com