Inspiring Aussies to give it a go

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  • As the Commonwealth Games draw to a close, Aussies are inspired to venture into new sports.
  • A third of Aussies that participate in sport suffer from a sports injury every year. 
  • During Osteopathy Awareness Week (15th – 21st April), Jessica Gallagher and Osteopathy Australia are encouraging people to #GiveItAGo, whilst preventing sports injuries.
Jessica Gallagher - Womens B1000m Time Trial 2016 Paralympic Games - RIO Brazil Australian Paralympic Committee Friday 9 September 2016 © Sport the library / Greg Smith

Jessica Gallagher – Women’s B1000m Time Trial
2016 Paralympic Games – RIO Brazil
Australian Paralympic Committee
Friday 9 September 2016
© Sport the library / Greg Smith

As the Commonwealth Games draw to a close, the excitement of a sporting event hosted at home has inspired the nation, many of whom will be encouraged to venture into a new sport. However, transitioning between sports, and making our bodies move in different ways, without preparation, puts us at risk of injury.

While almost two thirds (59%[1]) of Aussies participate in sports, a staggering 1 in 3 (37%[2]) of those will struggle with a sport-related injury each year. Sustaining a sports injury can not only end a season, but also put livelihoods at risk.

Jessica Gallagher is the only Australian Olympic and Paralympic athlete to win both summer and winter medals and is no stranger to transitioning into different sports, having represented Australia in alpine skiing, athletics and most recently track cycling.

Jessica says, “As individuals we are all unique and each sport we participate in is unique. By thinking about what our sport may require of us it allows us the opportunity to reduce the likelihood and mitigate injuries before they happen.”

“Transitioning between sports has and always will be incredibly challenging. There is a very high risk of injury and dysfunction, as an athlete’s body is so finely tuned to suit their particular sport.” says Gallagher.

Osteopathy is a drug free therapy for injury and can be used as a preventative measure to prepare the body when transitioning between sports. The technique includes stretches, massage and mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues to maintain optimum physical condition. Osteopaths offer exercise rehabilitation, exercise advice or prescription, lifestyle advice and education where appropriate.  Sports osteopaths can enhance performance and improve muscle strength, rehabilitate and prevent future injuries.

Antony Nicholas, CEO at Osteopathy Australia says, “A lot of the general public think osteopathy is all about back pain; however, many weekend warriors and successful sports people see an osteopath to treat a wide range of sporting injuries and improve their performance.

Jessica says, “I’ve certainly had my fair share of injuries. Osteopathy played a critical role in my rehabilitation, but also in addressing the other areas of my body that were heavily affected.”

“Our body is so wonderfully connected, when one part is injured the effects are widespread and Osteopathy has played a huge role in ensuring I am the best version of myself.”

During Osteopathy Awareness Week (15th – 21st April), Jessica Gallagher has joined forces with Osteopathy Australia to encourage people to #GiveItAGo and offers advice on transitioning between sports whilst preventing sports injuries.

Mr Nicholas says, “Being active and playing in sport has so many amazing health and social benefits, why not see an osteopath to help you perform in your chosen sport and enjoy it for years to come!

Gallagher says, “Sport provides us with wonderful physical, mental and social health benefits. Personally, I love the mix of excitement and nerves of doing something I have never done before and seeing where it might take me. If I don’t like the sport I just try something else!”


We asked  CEO of Osteopathy, Antony Nicholas some questions:

Why do Aussie sporting mega events inspire people to try new sports?

Aussie sporting mega events really inspire people in Australia to play sports and I think that’s because 60% of the population have played sports in the last 12 months. We are fairly sports obsessed nation, so it’s not surprising that when these inspirational matches or sporting events come on, people want to get out there and give it a go. 

What should people consider before starting a new sport?

When people are thinking of starting a new sport they need to think about their current fitness their general health, and importantly the condition of their muscles and their joints and their flexibility, because that can impact on your ability to play a sport well and to prevent injuries.

 What should people do to prevent sustaining sports injuries?

If people want to try and prevent, or sustain a sporting injury, they need to think about a warming up and stretching. While also being aware of any existing injuries and whether they have any muscle tightness or strains, because these are more likely to lead to injuries.

How can Osteopathy help?

Osteopathy can help because osteopathic treatment involves manual techniques, such as stretching soft tissue, massage, and mobilisation of joints. It also involves treatment and advice around exercise prescription or stretching, to make sure that you’re ready to prevent injuries and play the game to the best of your ability.

 Where can people go for more information?

If people want more information or find out how at osteopathy can help, they can go to www.osteopathy.org.au. On our website we have information around sports and sports injuries, but also we have the ability for you to put it in your local postcode to find an osteo in your local area.


References

Jessica Gallagher is a registered Osteopath

[1] https://www.ausport.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/658828/34683_AusPlay_State_Summary_infographics_Adult.pdf (59% or 14.23M people)

[2] https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/hospital-care-for-australian-sports-injury-2012-13/contents/table-of-contents (5.2M people)

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