Can injuries be prevented with exercise? The answer is absolutely. But there is a caveat. Exercise done correctly, addressing one’s individual deficits, can be beneficial in preventing injury. Why is it important to work efficiently and why should exercise programs be individually tailored to meet the specific needs of participants?
By learning to work in correct alignment there is less stress to structures.
By strengthening muscles that are weak a support system is being created to counteract the force of unexpected stress.
By lengthening formerly tight structures there is greater freedom of movement which allows more efficient movement to occur.
By improving balance there is a reduction in the risk of falls and improvement in tolerance to forces outside ones control.
By increasing endurance one can withstand greater stress over time.
By improving agility there is improvement in the ability to tolerate forces that involve different speeds and different directions.
By improving power the resistance to outside forces improves.
Identifying your individual exercise needs can sometimes be done, in a very basic way, by you. And this I will touch upon in my next post. And I have touched on determining efficient alignment in my post dated October 24, 2014. But sometimes it is difficult to recognize deficits without professional help. This is especially true if you are having any pain or have a significant medical history. For this I would recommend that you work with a good physical therapist to get you started. Physical therapists are trained to identify issues and understand body mechanics. They have had many years of education in anatomy, physiology, gait assessment, musculoskeletal medical science, therapeutic exercise, neurology, cardiopulmonary medical science, diagnostic imaging and pharmacology. They are also required to undergo rigorous licensing requirements. Physical therapists are a very well equipped to identify deficits and design programs that address your needs.
Exercise tailored to your individual needs, done in correct alignment and using efficient body mechanics will reduce the risk of injury. Research indicates this to be the case. But exercise and intensity arbitrarily chosen without any focus on proper form and alignment may increase the risk of injury. Research has shown this to be the case as well. The message here is that exercise can be great but you need to identify and address your needs and participate with intelligence. The changes will be positive, long lasting and safe.