By Julian James
As the 2024 season approaches, players are slowly returning to pre-season training, getting ready for the year ahead. While the thought (or hope) that a new season may be the year that that old knee injury from a tackle or a shoulder problem that's never gone away will be alright this year, it may not be the case. It's essential to address those niggles that may have been brushed aside during seasons past. As someone once told me “nothing changes if nothing changes”, and this year might be the year you decide to have that old injury finally looked at. Or is 2024 the year that you finally start that new sport, join that new running club or pick up that hobby you've always wanted to do, but noticed a few weeks into it your body can't seem to cope? Rather than playing through pain or trying again another time, let's take the time to assess what the issue is and get you back on track/ field/ court.
The Domino Effect of Neglect:
Niggling injuries are, sometimes, ticking time bombs that can wreak havoc on an athlete's body if left unaddressed. What might start as a minor discomfort can evolve into a more serious issue, affecting not only performance but also sidelining an athlete for a significant part of the season. Tackling these issues head-on before they escalate is the key to avoiding the domino effect of neglect.
Having played football from a young age, I've seen injuries on the field and in the clinic. I have seen this domino effect in its entirety. It may be the person who plays on the weekend, can't train during the week because that injury flares up, but feels good enough to play again on the weekend and the cycle starts all over again. Injuries that are left untreated can evolve into chronic conditions that may not only affect their playing career but have implications outside of sport as well. Investing time and effort into treatment before the season kick-off is an investment in sustained athletic longevity.
Off Field Impacts:
I often discuss with patients that there is more to injuries than just rehab time and how many games were missed. “Yeah my ankle was pretty bad. It took me about 4 weeks to play again”. However, these injuries not only affect the body but can also take a toll on an athlete's mental well-being. For some not being able to run or walk can have bigger impacts in their personal or work life, not just on the field.
I understand the frustration of standing on the sidelines watching teammates play. Close wins, narrow losses, blow out wins where you can pad the stats, the thrills of playing are much better than the lows of having to spectate. Addressing these issues promptly not only restores physical well-being but also contributes to a positive mindset, essential for success on the field.
What Can We Do For You?
Pre-season is a great time to seek treatment, not having to miss any matches and being able to focus on getting fit and ready to go for the first game. For injuries new and old, making an appointment allows for thorough assessments. Meaning the most accurate plans and treatments can be made for the first step to be back out on the field.
Following on from the assessment, targeted therapies, and personalised rehabilitation plans are made, which is dependent on many different factors - the severity of the injury, how long the injury has been an issue for, and most importantly what are your goals and how we can best achieve them .
This level of support can be a game-changer in addressing niggling injuries and preparing the body for the rigours of the upcoming season.
It's not just about playing through the pain; it's about investing in sustained performance, long-term health, and the joy of playing the game without the shadow of untreated injuries. So, before the first ball is bounced, or the first whistle blows, take the time to prioritise your body's well-being, and let the season unfold with the confidence that comes from being at your physical best.
Click the link below to book in an appointment with Julian, or call the clinic on 6334 9907