I’ve had a fair amount of experience of treating sports injuries, starting with my work as the physio for the England Under 21 Hockey Team years ago (playing hockey can cause you terrible problems because you’re always stooped over looking down at the ball). I have also worked for the London Welsh Mini and Youth Rugby sections, and, later, as a physio for the Christ College, Brecon, rugby, soccer, cricket and hockey teams (I was drawn in to doing all this because I had two sons at London Welsh and three at Christ College). Last year I was also the physio for Gwernyfed Rugby Club (again, a son was playing for them) and I still treat some of the players.
For treatment, I concentrate on techniques such as manipulation, hot and cold pads and so on – see What to expect. But particularly with sports injuries, I’m concerned not only with treating and diagnosing the immediate problem but with trying to establish why it might have occurred. I often find, especially with young players, that excessive weight training, done without the correct advice and supervision as to balancing muscular development, has distorted a normal physique to the extent that good posture becomes impossible – which makes injuries almost inevitable; the answer is to balance work on one set of muscles with work on the opposing set. I’ve also had some success with analysing exactly how patients approach an activity –a kick at goal in rugby, say – to show how a muscle strain may be due to an unnatural movement and coach how to correct this.