Injury in Adult Recreational Sports -when to see a Physio or RMT?

oakville physio biking injury

So many of us like to play sports into our adulthood. This is for many reasons; to stay fit, be social and simply because we love the sport! Our intensity may change depending on what we’re doing the next day.

I’m sure the thought that “I have to work tomorrow!” Has run through many peoples minds as play becomes rough or the conditions may not be optimal. We may even be playing with and against others who have not had the same level of experience in a sport but are maybe reckless or unnecessarily aggressive.

Why Massage Therapy?

Massage Therapy can be so helpful in general muscle tightness and soreness. When we move in ways that are different and repetitive, we may experience delayed onset muscle soreness or tightness. Scheduling massage when we add in new activities, for example, at the beginning of soccer season can be a helpful recovery tool.

Massage therapy with an RMT can also be focused for injury recovery from specific injuries. For example runners increasing distance or speed may benefit from routine massage focussed on the thighs, glutes and calves. Starting stand-up paddle boarding or SUP? Scheduling a massage therapy session that focusses on the feet, calves and back may feel awesome!

Why Physio?

You’ve injured yourself playing a recreational sport , accessing a physiotherapists opinion may be helpful in relieving pain and getting you back to movement and life more effectively.

Physiotherapists are direct access. This means that you do not need a doctors referral to have an assessment. Your physiotherapist will send you to your doctor, urgent care, or the ER if they feel that you require imaging (eg X-rays). Do not wait in a limbo if you have accessed the ER and they send you home after telling you that you do not have a fracture (broken bone). There is more that can be done in terms of early care post injury. Early, appropriate movement as well as protection, compression etc after an assessment by a physio can help immensely in the early stages of an injury.

A Physiotherapist will help with what you should do and maybe avoid for a time. They will also help you build up to a return to activity should that be your goal.

It is easy to go back and forth after experiencing an injury, returning to play too soon and having to take more time off.

As Physiotherapists we see the value in being and staying active! We want you to be able to the the things you love!

Physiotherapy for hockey players

Here are some brief examples for context:

  • Started playing soccer on turf. Has been having foot and shin tightness and pain that has been gradually worsening. Massage Therapy may be helpful to address the muscle tightness. They may suggest physio to help provide stretches and additional treatment to be able to continue playing and avoid a worsening issue.
  • Playing softball / baseball. Has been making long throws from the outfield and after one throw the shoulder has sharp pain. It’s hurting to lift it and lay on it. A physiotherapist can do an assessment of the shoulder and provide treatment. They may suggest imaging initially but not always. They will let you know if you should take some time off or just modify your activity. You will be given exercises for your particular case.
  • You are playing soccer and step into a rut. Your ankle turns and you have sharp pain. You have gone to the hospital and had X-rays and are told there is no fracture….. A physiotherapy appointment can be helpful at this point to help assess the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments). You may be given education on how to use crutches or a cane safely and at the best height for you. The physiotherapist can show you how to use a tensor bandage and start you with early management. They can see you through the stages of injury healing and get you ready for return to play.

Even when we are playing recreation sports, it is easy to forget that our body has a natural rate of healing. Sometimes when we stop having pain our inclination is to go back to sport / activity 100%.

Remember that even the best athletes in the world start with practice first and if they are not ready to practice, they find some way to move and keep the rest of their body strong. This is one of the roles of the physiotherapist. We are here to help with different phases of injury and pain. It never has to be all or none!

Contact us to book a Physiotherapy or Massage Therapy appointment. Our North Oakville team is here to help!