21 Day PT Trial

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Right now Sports Physio Ireland is offering you the chance to come in and try out our services for 21 days for only €59!

The 21 Day PT Trial will cover everything from strength and conditioning training to rehabilitation of an injury under the watchful eye of our chartered physiotherapists/trainers who will also be providing dietary advice to help you balance your eating habits.

Space is at a premium and we can only offer this trial to a limited number of people.

This is a HUGE discount and is definitely not to be missed!

We strive to provide the highest quality service in order to help you achieve your goals.

Sign up now by clicking the link below & and an expert trainer will be in touch.

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Sports Physio Ireland Team


Fatigue Markers in Sport

Following on with some of our most recent posts on training load and injury/illness as we prepare to welcome Mark Roe for our August Seminar “Minimising Injury Risk and Maximising Performance in the GAA”, we will look at fatigue as a useful marker to monitor the athletes that we work in day to day, especially within the team setting.

Management of fatigue is important in mediating adaption to training and ensuring the athlete is prepared for competition. These training responses can be both positive and negative, and helps both the Strength and Conditioning and Medical staff see how the athlete is responding to the training load prescribed.

Different times of the year, different objectives will always make these slightly open to interpretation of the support staff e.g. during a period of planned overreaching,

the support staff will expect to have changes in fatigue markers that may be negative. Fatigue can also give us a better ability to reduce the athletes’ susceptibility to nonfunctional over-reaching, injury, and illness, by picking up signs and symptoms of difficulties to the training load early.

An excellent recent systematic review in Sports Medicine highlighted the role of fatigue on injury rates and illness in athletes. Below I have outlined some of the main findings from the review on fatigue markers and injury within that paper.

Fatigue Markers and Injury

The review showed that only 9 studies investigated fatigue–injury relationships, seven of which used perceptual wellness scales.

  • In soccer players 3 studies showed greater daily hassles to be associated with increased injury, using the Hassles and Uplifts Scale (HUS) (Ivarsson et al., 2010; Ivarsson et al., 2013; Ivarsson et al., 2015)
  • Laux et al. (2015) further support the positive perceptual fatigue– injury relationship in their findings, which reported that increased fatigue and disturbed breaks, as well as decreased sleep-quality ratings, were related to increased injury.

However, In contrast rating of perceptual fatigue showed slightly different findings in other studies:

  • Killen et al. (2010) found increased perceptual fatigue (measured via worse ratings of perceptual sleep, food, energy, mood, and stress) was associated with decreased training injury during an elite rugby league preseason.
  • Similarly, King et al. (2010) showed increased perceptual fatigue (measured via various REST-Q factors) was associated with decreased sports performance training injuries and time-loss match injuries.

The authors theorise that these unexpected findings may be due to the fact that when players perceive themselves to be less fatigued they may train/play at higher intensities, increasing injury likelihood.

Most of the studies used wellness scales that take approximately 1–4 min to complete. These are extremely practical to administer to athletes and are quick and not too time consuming. The Rest-Q has been also well-validated within the literature.

The review also showed that current self-report measures fare better than their commonly used objective counterparts. In particular, subjective well-being typically worsened with an acute increase in training load and chronic training load, whereas subjective well-being demonstrated improvement when acute training load decreased. Using quick subjective questionnaires and “knowing” the athletes is vitally important. Earning the trust of the athlete and building a strong relationship over a period of time, is just as useful as any expensive monitoring system.

The authors also noted the poor investigation within the literature of the relationship between sleep and injury.

Sleep is a vital part of the body’s recovery process and has been well highlighted in recent times on it’s relationship to productivity, chronic pain and depression (Rosekind, (2010); Smith (2004); Tsuno (2005). The review showed that three studies assessed sleep–injury relationships via sleep quality ratings, with only Dennis et al. (2015) investigating objective measures of sleep quality and quantity in relation to injury. No significant differences in sleep duration and efficiency were reported between the week of injury and 2 weeks prior to injury.

fatigue

While the number of studies is quiet limited in the review, evidence of the use in the team setting to monitor the role of fatigue on injuries is supported. However, anecdotally and from experience within the field the importance of speaking to people, building strong relationships and creating a supportive environment cannot be underestimated. An athlete who trusts your role and job in helping their performance and having their wellness as a priority will often speak to you sooner than any subjective or objective marker can pick up.

So while using these tools is of great importance, don’t forget the strength of building personal relationships with your athletes.

Thomas Divilly

  • Ivarsson A, Johnson U. Psychological factors as predictors of injuries among senior soccer players: a prospective study. J Sports Sci Med. 2010;9(2):347.
  • Ivarsson A, Johnson U, Podlog L. Psychological predictors of injury occurrence: a prospective investigation of professional Swedish soccer players. J Sport Rehabil. 2013;22(1):19–26. 93.
  • Ivarsson A, Johnson U, Lindwall M, et al. Psychosocial stress as a predictor of injury in elite junior soccer: a latent growth curve analysis. J Sci Med Sport. 2014;17(4):366–70
  • King D, Clark T, Kellmann M. Changes in stress and recovery as a result of participating in a premier rugby league representative competition. Int J Sports Sci Coach. 2010;5(2):223–37.
  • Kinchington M, Ball K, Naughton G. Reliability of an instrument to determine lower limb comfort in professional football. Open Access J Sports Med. 2010;1:77–85.
  • Kinchington M, Ball K, Naughton G. Monitoring of lower limb comfort and injury in elite football. J Sports Sci Med. 2010;9(4):652.
  • Killen NM, Gabbett TJ, Jenkins DG. Training loads and incidence of injury during the preseason in professional rugby league players. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(8):2079–84.
  • Laux P, Krumm B, Diers M, et al. Recovery-stress balance and injury risk in professional football players: a prospective study. J Sports Sci. 2015;33(20):2140–8.
  • Rosekind, Mark R., et al. “The cost of poor sleep: workplace productivity loss and associated costs.” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine52.1 (2010): 91-98.
  • Smith, Michael T., and Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite. “How do sleep disturbance and chronic pain inter-relate? Insights from the longitudinal and cognitive-behavioral clinical trials literature.” Sleep medicine reviews 8.2 (2004): 119-132.
  • Tsuno, Norifumi, Alain Besset, and Karen Ritchie. “Sleep and depression.” The Journal of clinical psychiatry (2005).
  • Dennis J, Dawson B, Heasman J, et al. Sleep patterns and injury occurrence in elite Australian footballers. J Sci Med Sport. 2015;19(2):113–6.

When working with sports teams, you meet a mixture of people working within the management and administration of the club/county. As it is still firmly an amateur organisation, the clubs and counties still rely heavily on the volunteerism that has built the foundation of the GAA, and please God may this never change! These people have a mixture of skills and experiences that make the GAA so unique to our country and culture. Everyone has different backgrounds that make trying to mesh an amateur ethos and drive with the professional demands needed to compete at inter-county and club levels easier. And yes, not only are inter-county setups extremely professional, a lot of clubs are following closely. Managers and coaches are extremely ambitious nowadays and want to create the most professional setups in the country.
And so often Physiotherapists, Strength and Conditioning Coaches and other related professionals are greeted with a mixed reaction within different setups, depending on people’s past experiences. Some are lauded as essential and necessary for continued success on the pitch, while some are greeted with a mixture of suspicion at our role within the team. We have all been in that situation, when you meet a coach or manager who doesn’t understand what your skillset involves, what you can do to help a team succeed. Physiotherapists are seen as giving out “rubs” and S & C professionals are seen as “doing the gym”. And while these may have been our role historically, we have moved on well from this! We have greater skillsets than this and we can heavily influence both the welfare and performance of the athletes we come in contact with.
And so like any profession I believe we should justify our roles within these groups:
  • Are we addressing intrinsic/extrinsic factors that may influence injury risk?
  • Are we putting in injury prevention programmes that have been proven to reduce rate of injuries?
  • Do we use the most up to date methods of preparing our players for their performance demands?
  • Are we continually up-skilling and increasing our knowledge?
  • Are we educating the people who make the important decisions on best practices?
These are all questions that we should be continually asking ourselves when working in these environments. So how do we justify our role first and foremost? What is the one thing every coach and manager puts the most weight on when making decisions? What can they not ignore. They are all striving for the same thing.
Success.
And while talent is important.
We know that team success is heavily influenced by player availability.
In this study by Hagglund et al. (2013) they looked at the injury incidence and injury burden on performance measures in soccer. What made this study unique is that the clubs that participated included the likes of Barcelona, Manchester Utd etc. So massive clubs at the elite level! And over an 11 year period they found that a team that had both decreased injury rates and injury severity compared with the preceding season had a statistically better chance of improved team performance, based on final league standing and league points per match. This is massively important!
The study concluded that the “association between injuries and performance is probably one of the most important messages to convey to management and coaching staff, as well as to other stakeholders in clubs, in order to continue to improve medical services for the players and to increase efforts to prevent injuries”.
Therefore, while we can’t prevent every injury, there is no magic bullet! We can use the best of our knowledge and our understanding of the science out there, how to put in programmes to help reduce the injury risk.
Read the data out there. Collect your own data. React to the data if needed.
Put into place some high quality injury reduction programmes.
Work as a team within the medical and performance department.
Help each other. Don’t let egos clash.
You should have a common goal. Work together to make it happen.
Thomas Divilly
Chartered Physiotherapist, MISCP, CSCS

How To Fix Your Push Up

The push up is one of the most basic exercises that you can do, but time and time again it is technically performed poorly.

We see issues from poor technique contribute to low back pain, knee issues, along with a number of other issues. So technique is vital to keep the body healthy.

So how do I, and the rest of the team in Sports Physio Ireland, see a push up? Simple really, think about a dynamic plank.

Quiet simply, the core should be engaged throughout the total body movement, and 9/10 in most injured or poorly trained clients this is the last thing that is thought about!

So How To Do The Perfect Push Up

• Hands directly under the shoulder, screw them into the ground.
• Squeeze the ass, tuck the tail bone under until you feel the lengthening of the abdominals
• Drive the heels to the back wall
• Slowly and controlled bring the chest to the ground, keeping the elbows close to the rib cage and drive up through the heels of the hand.

Harder than you think, but more bang for your buck!


Phase One Meniscal Tear Rehabilitation

 

When the knee suffers a meniscal and osteochondral fracture injury, it’s ability to absorb forces produced from stepping, running and cutting is diminshed. It’s essential to slowly and progressively load bear the joint in movements that simulate and compliment the movement patterns of the sport.

See the video of Sports Physio Ireland client, Ciaran, week one with Thomas, one of our Physiotherapists and Strength and Conditioning Specialists going through his initial rehabilitation.

 

 

 

 


Paralympic Football World Cup 2015

Back in June, SPI Physiotherapist Thomas Divilly travelled to England for two weeks to assist the Irish Paralympic Football Team at the Cerebral Palsy Football World Cup

Here’s a short piece on his experience during the tournament with the team.

‘I had the privilege of working as the Physiotherapist to the Irish Paralympic Football Team as they competed in the Cerebral Palsy Football World Cup in St. George’s Park, home of the England FA. There was a huge prize on offer for the guys. Qualification for the Paralympic Game in Rio 2016. And boy did they deliver!

The George's Park Dressing Room
The St. George’s Park Dressing Room

It was a hugely successful campaign as the team finished 6th overall.  Defeating Portugal, Australia and Argentina en route to a qualification spot. I was personally able to help keeping the guys fit and healthy throughout the tournament. We  finished the competition with a strong and healthy squad, just as we had started.

The George's Park Gym Facility.
The George’s Park Gym Facility.

Key components to achieving a fit and healthy squad throughout the two weeks of intense competition was implementing a good recovery system. This was achieved through proper nutrition & hydration, mobility work and pool sessions to keep the players in top condition.

I’m already looking forward to seeing the guys learn from this invaluable experience and push on to bigger and better things!’

Thomas


6 Tips to improve your speed in GAA

1. Mobility:

It is essential to have mobility in your muscles and joints to allow your legs to produce power through the whole motion while sprinting, cutting and turning.

This is best done through foam rolling, dynamic stretches and last but not least static stretches of areas that are particularly tight or limited.

2. Single leg control:

Is key component of speed, while sprinting and changing direction quickly only one foot is in contact with the ground at a time. The better your single leg control, especially around hip the greater the transfer of power through your body to the ground. Poor single leg control lead to lead to inefficient use of the power your muscles are producing.

3. Running Mechanics:

Your running technique also plays an important part, ideally you should be generating power and driving through the strong glutes muscles and not through your knees and calfs. Keeping light on your feet and preventing your heels from touching the ground on cuts and turns always you spring back in the opposite directing as quickly as possible.

4. Explosive Power:

Developing your explosive power is one the key components to increasing your speed on the pitch. Simply put explosive power refers to an athletes ability to exert a maximal amount of force in the shortest possible time interval. Enhancing your explosive power can be done through a variety of different training systems and exercises such as plyometric work and using a prowler.

5. Repeat sprint ability:

In sports such as gaelic football and hurling an athletes Repeat Sprint Ability (RSA) is an important component of their fitness. RSA describes the ability of an athlete to recover and maintain maximal effort during subsequent sprints. This type of fitness is commonly trained using interval sprints and Maximal Aerobic speed (MAS) runs.

6. Body Fat Percentage:

Decreasing your % Body fat is another factor in increasing your speed on the pitch. Imagine what it would be like to run around a pitch with a weighted vest or carrying dumbbells and how that would affect your athletic performance. Keeping an optimal % body fat decreases the workload on your joints and muscles while also allowing you to to maximise your speed.