How can Osteopathy help sports injuries?
Osteopaths are trained to diagnose and treat some complex biomechanically-based musculo-skeletal injuries. This ability comes into its own when dealing with minor sports injuries. Often amateur and elite athletes alike push their bodies to the limit of their physiological abilities; it is at this point that any small bio-mechanical defect can cause a mechanical breakdown. The ability of the body to adapt and compensate for this defect will reach a limit. When the body is pushed beyond this limit the compensation breaks down, resulting in tissue damage often far away from the site of the defect. It is the skill of the osteopath to identify the original defect, help the body to adapt and compensate for any bio-mechanical limitation and to promote tissue healing. This makes the osteopathic approach to sports injuries unique.
An example; a left-handed tennis player had a recurrent, left shoulder
injury aggravated by serving. After consulting a variety of specialists,
he consulted an osteopath who discovered that the rotator cuff injury
to the left shoulder was occurring as a result of bringing his shoulder
too far back during the serving action. This was due to a restricted lower
body rotation, caused by poor healing from an appendix scar operated on
some nine months previously. After treatment and stretching exercises
the trunk rotation was restored and the shoulder injury was allowed to
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