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Mazeie Phillips
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Mazeie Phillips GSR
Mazeie Phillips GSR

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Unlike standard athletic taping, which often involves wrapping a joint for support and compression, kinesiology tape is placed in a variety of patterns depending on the injury. It is pulled to differing degrees of tension to create the desired effect and is typically worn for two to five days, unlike standard tape, which is used mainly during an activity.
Kinesiology tape can be used to aid athletic performance including pain reduction, neuromuscular system re-education, performance optimization, injury prevention, and the promotion of improved circulation and healing
The tape exhibits its effects through the activation of neurological and circulatory systems with movement (Osterhues, 2004). It is used to support the fascia, muscles, and joints while offering unrestricted range of motion (ROM). Kinesio taping is also suggested to reduce injury recovery time by decreasing pain and inflammation (Mostafavifar et al., 2012). Depending on the amount of stretch applied, Thelen, Dauber, and Stoneman, (2008) proposed several benefits including: to provide a positional stimulus through the skin, align fascial tissues, to create more space by lifting fascia and soft tissue above area of pain/inflammation, to provide sensory stimulation to assist or limit motion, and to assist in the removal of edema by directing exudates toward a lymph duct.
Kinesio taping is said to reduce injury recovery time by decreasing pain and inflammation. K tape has been shown to help conditions such as subacromial impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tendonitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, mechanical neck pain, and Achilles tendinosis.
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Research evidence has shown that there are around 54 injuries per 1000 tennis matches played, which is about half the number of injuries that occur during the same number of soccer matches. There is also less risk of injury during tennis compared with individual sports such as running and golf. The injury risk during tennis can be further reduced if you understand some of the most common injuries that occur in tennis and have a strategy to avoid tennis injury. 

Sprained ankle:
The sudden sideways movements that are required during tennis can cause the ankle to twist, particularly if the surface is slippery or the player is fatigued. 

Shoulder pain:
Shoulder pain can occur in tennis players because there are repeated stresses during tennis strokes, particularly the serve. There are several sources of shoulder pain in tennis players, but one of the most common causes is Shoulder Bursitis. Bursitis is inflammation of a sac of fluid called a Bursa.
In the shoulder frequent overuse of the Rotator Cuff muscles (a group of small muscles, situated close to the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder, that provide stability to the ball and socket) can cause the Bursa to get ‘impinged' between the muscles and the bony prominence of the shoulder, leading to inflammation. This causes pain whenever the arm is raised.
Calf strain:
The calf is most active during the push-off when a tennis player has to move quickly to react to an opponent's shot. A strain occurs when the muscle is forcibly stretched beyond its limits and the muscle tissue becomes torn. 

Back:
A stress fracture of the back, or lumbar spine, is one of the more common bone injuries in young tennis players. Lower back stress fractures are usually characterised by an ache in the lower back which is exacerbated by sporting activities and eased by rest, although a small percentage of people with a stress fracture can be pain free. Typically it is sore when the patient bends backwards, particularly if standing on one leg. 

Tennis elbow:
Tennis elbow is inflammation of the muscles and tendons of the forearm as they attach to the humerus (upper arm) bone. This inflammation is caused by prolonged gripping activities.
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The severity and symptoms of a ligament sprain depends on the degree of stretching or tearing of the ligament.
Mild grade I sprain - the ligaments may stretch, but they don't actually tear.
Moderate grade II sprain - the ligament tears partially. Swelling and bruising are common, and use of the joint is usually painful and difficult.
Severe grade III sprain - ligament tears completely, causing swelling and sometimes bleeding under the skin. As a result, the joint is unstable and unable to bear weight.
Treatment of a ligament injury varies depending on it's location and severity.
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Recently, I have had many clients coming into clinic complaining of knee pain and instability. These signs and symptoms can indicate a ligament injury, therefore a full examination is required. This picture shows the four main ligaments that can become injured. Injury to these ligaments can cause pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising and reduced movement.
You can injure a ligament through a sharp change in direction, landing wrong from a jump, or most commonly a blunt force hit to the knee. Factors such as muscle weakness and poor coordination can predispose you to a ligament injury.
MCL - injuries here often happen when your leg is stretched out in front of you and the outer side of your knee is knocked at the same time. For example during a rugby or football tackle.
LCL - less common. Usually caused by a direct blow to the inner side of your knee.
ACL - often occurs during sports such as football, basketball, skiing and tennis. Usually w
Occurs when you land on your leg and then quickly pivot or twist your knee in the opposite direction.
PCL - less common. May be injured from falling on your knee.
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How to avoid back pain while you train

If you’re a regular gym-goer, that back pain you experience may be something you’re familiar with.

Training-related back pain is something nearly everyone will experience if you’re not training properly and keeping in mind the pressure you are applying on your back.
Training-related back pain can be one of many things, including herniated discs, sciatica, pinched nerves etc.
If untreated, the conditions can worsen and surgeries will become a part of the equation – putting you out of commission for an extended period of time.

Back pain is something that can easily be triggered while training and is unlike any other pain, whereas with leg pain, you are using your legs to get from point A to point B, you are constantly using your core, especially your spine, which is something that needs to be protected, undoubtedly.

One of the key things to keep in mind when training is your posture. After exiting the gym, tiredness kicks in and you’ll feel the need to slouch, but you shouldn’t. Keep your posture straight and sit up, as this helps protect your spine.
Post-training slouching will always result in pain and will eventually lead to permanent damage, because the muscle being built will grow in a way that will permanently force your back into that slouched position, gaining what is called a hunched back, and this will make sitting upright in the future fairly difficult and painful.

To obtain a proper posture, you should stand with your shoulders and spine perfectly aligned above your hips with no visible curve or arch in the back, and your pelvis should be tilted upright.

The purpose of gaining the correct posture is then to translate that into your training.
When doing an overhead press, your back should be in perfect alignment and if it isn’t, consider lowering the weights – if a weight machine restricts your back it can harm it and cause shoulder damage or slipped discs from the unnecessary pressure forced upon your back.

To train your back, free weight exercises, callisthenics and flexibility training should be taken into consideration.
By consistently stretching, you are allowing your body to adapt to a variety of movements as it becomes more flexible, loosening the muscles and connective tissues around the back, which better enables for protection.
Callisthenics provides exercise that is wholly equipment free, allowing focus on your body’s movements, the feeling and how it’s improving, which will translate in your performance and even your quality of living.
Finally, free weight exercises aid in the development of muscle groups without applying that unnecessary pressure on your back.

By caring for your back while training, you will avoid back related problems that can develop and it will grow healthily.

 
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Hamstring Injuries
 
Research into hamstring strains is something seen as important by many, especially the NFL in America. They fund research into the problem as they’re the number one muscle tendon injury picked up in the sport, being accountable for more than 1,700 report incidences between 1989-1998. Although many athletes return to their respective sports within a three-four week period, one-third will get re-injured hamstrings with a year according to a 2010 study.

Hamstring injuries frequently occur for a few reasons, reasons which are actually preventable. Strength imbalances and improper form are the two main reasons for hamstring damage. Athletes most often cause injury to their hamstrings when running close to or at their max speed. As your speed increases and you begin to lengthen your stride, you’re putting greater loads of pressure on the hamstring muscles. That pressure is the greatest right before your lead foot touches the ground, making the moment ripe for a tear/rip in the hamstring area.

Injury Prevention

The number one way to prevent straining a hamstring is to address any potential muscular weakness. This can be done through strength exercises and neuromuscular training. Recommendations are Nordic Curls, standing deadlifts and exercise ball curls.

Though hamstring strength is important, it’s still only part of the puzzle. Quad strength relative to that of the hamstring muscles’ also plays an important role in injury prevention. A 2009 study found that sprinters are 17 times more prone to a hamstring strain when they have quad muscles twice as strong as their hamstrings. In an ideal world, both muscles would be of equal strength, but on average males have hamstrings that are about 63% as strong as their quads, whilst female hamstrings are 65% as strong. So, what’s the importance of this? Don’t consider missing strengthening your hamstring.

It’s important for runners, in particular, to have someone check their form often. This makes sure that they’re not at risk of injury. Getting evaluated is helpful in getting feedback on timing, posture and positioning. All of these make sure the hamstrings aren’t doing the majority of the work.
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Tennis elbow: what is it & how to prevent it

Tennis elbow is a condition that is the root cause of pain around the outside of the elbow.

It’s clinically known as lateral epicondylitis, something which often occurs after particular overuse of the tendons and muscles in the forearm, located near the elbow joint.

Though it’s most near the elbow in which pain is felt, you can also suffer pain in different areas of your arm:

-When attempting to grip small items, like pens
-When making a twisting action with your arm, like opening a door/pouring a kettle
-On the outside of your forearm, underneath the bend of your elbow
-When you extend your arm to its maximum.
-When you’re lifting an item

What’s the cause of tennis elbow?

The elbow joint is surrounded by a number of muscles that are responsible for movement in your elbow, wrist and fingers. The tendons join the elbow bones and muscles together, both which control the muscles of your forearm. Tennis elbow is a condition that’s usually caused by the overuse of muscles attached to your elbow, which are used to extend your wrist. If the muscles and tendons become strained, tiny tears can form and cause inflammation which can develop on and around the bony lump (the lateral epicondyle) on the outside of your elbow.
As the name suggests, tennis elbow is sometimes caused by playing tennis. However, it’s often caused by other activities that cause repeated stress on the wrist/elbow, where things like decorating or playing the violin can be incredibly uncomfortable. Pain that occurs on the inner side of the elbow, instead of on the outside, is often known as ‘golfer’s elbow’.

How can you treat tennis elbow?

Treatments are available that can be used to improve your symptoms and speed up the overall time of your expected recovery. It is important to remember that resting your injured from aggravating activity. Failing to do so may cause symptoms to deteriorate as a result. Take a break and stop doing the activity/activities that are causing the problem.
Holding a cold item, such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped by a towel, against your elbow for 15 minutes at numerous times throughout the day can help ease any pain felt. Taking painkillers for the injury, such as paracetamol, can help reduce mild pain that’s directly cause by tennis elbow. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can also be used to help reduce inflammation, which should ease any feelings of discomfort in your arm. This type of medication should be taken as directed by your GP or pharmacist.
Physiotherapy can be very helpful for tennis elbow. The massaging and manipulating of the affected area, though uncomfortable, can help to relieve the pain and stiffness experienced. As the pain settles, exercises may also be prescribed in order to restore strength and function in the area.
However, according to research by the NHS, in about nine out of 10 cases, a full recovery is usually made within a year
How to prevent tennis elbow.

If your tennis elbow is caused by an activity that includes repeated strain on your elbow joint, like sports such as tennis do, changing your technique may help to alleviate the problem. If you require treatment to settle your symptoms, it’s wise to get some further professional help to understand and address what has caused them.
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How to prepare for a Marathon...

Marathons are incredibly strenuous on the body and without the right preparation they can cause wear and tear. By following a guide it will help prevent any unnecessary injury.

Eating the right foods: Don't concentrate too much on carbs – protein not only preserves muscle but also repairs damaged tissue. Aim to intake 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, especially during the latter stages of training.

Keeping yourself hydrated: Plenty of water keeps the body fresh and hydrates. Sports drinks can be a good way of increasing electrolytes in your body but be aware of the very high sugar content found in some. Avoid alcohol as this has a dehydrating effect on your body and can lead to poor quality sleep.

Stretching: Pre-run dynamic stretches and mobility work are a good way of preparing your body. Spinal flexion and extensions, torso rotations, leg adductions and abductions, walking on tip toes and controlled lunges are all great ways to get your body ready for a strenuous workout.

Resting = ESSENTIAL: Adaptations to your hard training occur while you are resting, not during the exercise. Make sure you give your body the chance to recover with good nutrition, rest and sleep.
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Exercises for all muscle groups of your body

Photo gallery of GymTraining members: http://goo.gl/3taFUV
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Pre match taping is essential to help give protection throughout play to muscles and joints. A rugby player presented with complaints of hamstring and calf tightness/pain, therefore this picture shows how K-Tape can help support the muscle by lifting areas of tightness to relieve pain.
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