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Aaron Babb

Physiotherapist

Now that we are heading into winter the most common injury we will see in the clinic by far are muscle tears, the most common age group affected are over 35. Out of those, the most common presentation will be from soccer players and, out of them men who have a relatively sedentary job Monday to Friday are at the greatest risk.

In short, if you’re a 40-year-old male office worker who can tell me which letters on the keyboard are more worn out than others this article is for you.

I often hear “I used to play regularly when I was 15 so even though now I’m 42 I figured Id still be fit and the guys at work told me they needed players for the season. After 5 minutes in something went ‘BANG’ in my leg”

It’s the equivalent of someone saying. “I have this 1960’s Ferrari (beat up Datsun may be more appropriate) that I polish every week but haven’t put a drop of oil in it in 40 years because it never gets driven, I jumped in it the other day and redlined it and something went ‘BANG’ under the bonnet”

Muscles are amazing structures and one of the most amazing things about them is their ability to adapt to the environment they are in. If you are gradually but regularly pushing a muscle to its limit it will adapt and over time get bigger, stronger, faster. Just as equally if that amount of size, strength and speed is not being required, it will reduce to the characteristics that are required for your current day to day life. Hence if your sitting at work a lot your muscle length will have become sufficient for the demands which you are currently putting on them. If you suddenly and dramatically increase those demands (redline it) before the muscle has had adequate time to adapt- ‘BANG’

We have put together a program aimed at trying to beat this. It would usually require about 4 weeks prior to the start of the season but it is never too late and if anyone would like a copy of the program emailed to them let us know by calling or emailing. Ask anyone who has had a decent muscle tear and they will tell you they are as fun as Kim Jong-un at your kid’s next birthday party. They are hugely painful and often have lasting effects if not treated well when they occur. Most importantly, they are often preventable.