Physiotherapy and osteopathy in sports performance.

For many years the work of the physiotherapist and also of the osteopath has been recognized in the sports field. But it is not always clear which is the main contribution of physiotherapy and osteopathy  to sports performance.

In my opinion, there are five components that must work together with the same common objective in order to achieve an optimal athletic performance.

Five components involved in sports performance:

1. Athlete: is the main component, which contributes with his talent, effort and dedication to raise his level to the maximum of his possibilities.

2. Trainer: he is the one who administers and doses training loads.

3. Physiotherapist and osteopath: is in charge of making sure that the athlete is in optimal physical condition to face training and competitions without physical restrictions.

4. Nutritionist: is in charge of planning the necessary energy contribution for the individual needs, both for the daily feeding and for the food and liquid intake before, during and after the competition.

5. Rest: this must be restorative and of good quality and quantity.                          

Functions of the physiotherapist and osteopath:

Among the most well-known functions of the physiotherapist and osteopath are those of being part of the rehabilitation process after an injury, also  is who ensures that the athlete returns to activity in optimal conditions and in the shortest possible time.

Other known functions of the physiotherapist and osteopath are both pre-competition preparation and post-competition therapeutic measures to ensure a rapid recovery in order to back to train as soon as possible.

Injuries prevention and performance optimization: less known but more valuable functions.

There are also other functions of the physiotherapist and osteopath that are closely related to the optimization of sports performance and injury prevention.

Currently, working with an athlete is not limited to waiting for an injury to occur and then working in recovery. On the contrary, the necessary measures are taken to act in a preventive way.

There are a number of functional sports assessments aimed at detecting risk factors in order to avoid injuries and optimize sports performance. It consists of making a detailed study of each athlete.

When I attend an athlete I make an exhaustive evaluation that includes: a postural evaluation, analytical and global mobility, flexibility, strength evaluation and force asymmetries between agonist and antagonist groups and also in terms of concentric and eccentric contraction, evaluate the stability of the CORE, a series of basic movement patterns, and finally the proprioception of lower limbs.

At the end of the evaluation I look for to determine in which system is the cause of the deficits. It is possible that the origin is osteoarticular, muscular, fascial, visceral, craniosacral, alterations of the motor control, propioceptive deficits, and so on.

Once the causes have been detected, all that remains is to decide and apply the appropriate treatment through manual techniques and the implementation of an exercise plan that aims to correct the causes of the alterations.

Physiotherapy and osteopathy can work in advance to enhance sporting performance. Excellent results are achieved with regard to injury prevention and also in terms of improving performance, since any factor that interferes with the execution of movements will be limiting the possibilities of development and sporting success.

osteofpatia fisioterapia en triatlon

Duathlon European Championships 2020 Punta Umbría

In early march Duathlon European Championships took place in Punta Umbria, Huelva.

There, our friend and patient Ismael Rojas has excelled achieving a 6th place in his category 25 to 29 years. Congratulations Ismael!! for your great achievement that for sure will be one among many more to come.

Since a few months, from Osteofisio Marbella we have been working together to collaborate with this great triathlete by evaluating the presence of risk factors specific to triathlon and treating them whenever necessary. We are also working the week before the competition so that he arrives at the time of the event in the best possible physical conditions.

Duathlon European Championships 2020.

As I always say: happy to work with athletes and patients like Ismael. Not only because of his performance level, but also because of his dedication to excel every day and because of his quality as a person. Let’s go for more!

Micro-traumas. Why are they so important?

Most of the patients who visit our offices are due to the presence of some type of pain; from different parts of the body, acute or chronic, of greater or lesser intensity, and caused by different circumstances.

When I talk about the causes that led to the presence of pain or other symptoms, many are surprised to hear that most patients come for micro-trauma rather than trauma.

What is a trauma?


Empecemos por lo más fácil y conocido; un trauma es un golpe, caída o impacto de manera directa o indirecta que genera una lesión de distinta gravedad en la zona afectada. En la foto del levantador de pesas, es fácil reconocer el trauma en ese accidente, sufriendo un grave impacto en su columna cervical; y que lógicamente, no habrá sido la única parte de su cuerpo que sufrió ante ese accidente. Cuando ese deportista acudió a la consulta por su trauma, no cabe duda que habrá podido describir lo que sucedió y por qué presentaba dolor cervical, entre otras cosas. Aquel paciente que sufrió un trauma lo sabe, (salvo que haya perdido el conocimiento) y lo puede describir en la consulta. Tienen la suficiente intensidad como para que el paciente lo sienta en el mismo momento que se produce y que lo recuerde al llegar a la consulta.

What is a microtrauma?


On the other hand, those patients exposed to microtraumas, generally do not know it. Microtraumas are those inadequate positions, badly executed movements (they can be sports, work or daily life) or movements performed correctly and repeated an excessive amount of times. Then, in the example in the photo, it is very possible that that patient comes to the consultation for cervical pain or headaches, and that he does not know that it is due to the bad habit of talking on the phone holding it with his shoulder so that he can have both hands free and thus continue working while answering a call.

Micro-traumas are extremely aggressive to our body precisely because we do not identify them; and we do not identify them because they are not aggressive enough in terms of intensity to generate symptoms at the very moment they occur. They have a cumulative effect and will certainly produce symptoms at some point if they are repeated enough.

That is why in the first consultation I asked about what they do at work, how many hours they sit every day, what position they sit in at work, what position they sleep in, what sport or physical activity they do. All these activities have the possibility of being done incorrectly and of gradually generating postural alterations or injuries that in the day to day almost nobody perceives.

Personally I insist with my patients about adopting proper positions when working and performing repetitive movements. It would be useless to make treatments to solve symptoms without identifying and treating the cause that generated them, because that way the problem will reappear in a short time.

In other words, microtraumas are an invisible enemy (for most) that generate lesions little by little until symptoms appear, most commonly pain. To such an extent that they go unnoticed by many patients, that several times I have had to explain to a patient that his symptoms were due to inadequate sitting positions for so many hours a day (for months and years) and that they tell me: “it can’t be, I have always sat like this And that’s why it hurts now! It is a microtrauma, it will not generate symptoms immediately.

We have an advantage over micro-traumas

The advantage we have with microtraumas is that by knowing about them, we can prevent them from ending up with the appearance of symptoms. It is possible to improve positions in the workplace, make the necessary breaks to not end the working day in pain or correct the movements that are made improperly. With traumas, we often do not have the possibility of preventing them.

Mi recomendación es cuidarse en aquellas posiciones que se mantienen durante muchas horas todos los días y en las actividades que se repiten con mucha frecuencia. Ambas deben realizarse de manera correcta para evitar problemas futuros.

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