Why Sports Injury Prevention is Better Than Treatment

Sep 7, 2022 | Written by Mike, Written by Prab | 0 comments

Australians love sport. With over 60% of our population playing sport, we have over 11.1 million proud players in our nation. This is a great way for us to bond, work on our fitness, and improve our quality of life.

However, this doesn’t come without its risks. In 2018-19 in Australia, sports injuries were estimated to cost us $764 million. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported almost 60,000 people were hospitalised for sports injuries in just one year. The most common sports to cause injuries were football, cycling, motorsports, netball and equestrian sports.

“Being physically healthy is not expensive! Being injured is.. So prevent injuries!”― Joerg Teichmann

There is an increasing emphasis on reducing the number of sporting injuries through prevention rather than cure. So if you’re one of the 11 million Australians who plays sport, what can you – and your physio – do to prevent a sports injury?

Based on your physical health if you go to see your local physiotherapist here are some of the things you’ll probably be advised to do:


We know you’ve probably heard this a million times before. It’s common advice to warm up before a match, or before your daily jog. But you’re probably also one of the many people who have been tempted to save time and skip this step.

So, why do you need to ‘warm up’? And what does it do to prevent injury?

Warming up is the process of doing lower-intensity exercise performed at a slower pace. This could include a light jog, lunges, dynamic stretching or even yoga. At a physical level, warming up increases your heart rate and body temperature, which increases blood flow and oxygen to your muscles and prepares the body for exercise.

Stretching should also help improve your range of motion as well as support the elasticity of ligaments and tendons. All of these changes prime your body for exercise and reduce the chance of injury occurring. An ideal warm-up should only take about 10 minutes and should prepare your muscles and body for a more intense workout. Plus, a good warm-up will reduce your chances of soreness the next day!

Cooling down

A cool down is also likely to be a step in your workout routine that you want to skip. You’re sweaty, you’re tired, and you’d like to jump in the shower and relax. It is all too easy to say “I’ll stretch later. But no matter how easy it might seem, do not skip this step!

A warm-up engages your muscles and activates your body, and a cool-down helps to decrease your heart rate, return your body back to its neutral state and relax the muscles gently. This is often believed to reduce muscle soreness. An exercise cool-down also reduces dizziness by improving circulation and preventing blood from pooling – even after a tough workout.

Strength and conditioning

This one is incredibly important. A weakness somewhere in the muscles or an imbalance in the body can predispose you to injury during sport. Working with a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to increase muscle mass and improve conditioning is not just for the elite athletes among us. It can play a key role in injury prevention for every person who is interested in staying healthy and playing sport for fun.

Research indicates that conditioning involving cardiovascular work, improving flexibility, and resistance training has a clear connection to improving the structural integrity of joints, muscles and tendons.

It is also recommended to do targeted muscle strengthening that is specific to your sport and unique injury risks. This is more effective at improving performance and preventing injury than generalised exercises.

Physiotherapists are highly trained in exercise, anatomy and physiology. They can discuss the type of sport you do and the common injuries that occur, as well as identify joints, tendons or ligaments that are at high risk. For example, the shoulder is an unstable joint that may benefit from targeted strengthening exercises. Undertaking these strengthening exercises can stabilise joints and reduce the risk of injury occurring.

A physiotherapist considers your medical history, and ask questions about your sport, level of fitness, previous injuries and fitness goals. This information can be used to evaluate injury potential and implement a customised training program that aims to reduce any injury risk. A physiotherapist may then suggest further injury prevention methods such as strapping, protective gear, physiotherapist-guided stretches, and joint mobilisation.

There is no 100% foolproof method of preventing injury. So if an injury does occur, your physiotherapist can help you throughout your rehabilitation period, as well as support your return to activity and assisting you to prevent further injury from reoccurring.

All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Pro Physio Plus can consult with you to confirm if this treatment is right for you.