Outdoor activities can be a great way to get some fresh air and exercise during the long, cold winter months, but freezing temperatures and icy surfaces can also lead to injuries. Winter sports also place many demands on the body. Recreational sports like skiing and basketball are dynamic in nature and require strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance. To get the most out of sports you enjoy, be prepared for these activities so as to minimize the chance of injury.
Neuromuscular Training Benefits
Physical Therapist Adam Pliskow, owner of New Castle Physical Therapy in Millwood, recommends that people of all ages who wish to participate in sports like skiing, ice skating, snowboarding and basketball initiate some type of exercise program to avoid injury. Evidence shows that neuromuscular training including plyometric, balance, and technique training reduces the risk of serious knee injuries. A proper injury prevention program should be structured to begin with an adequate warm up and active stretch period followed by strength training, agility and plyometric drills and then a static stretch and cool down. Hopping, jumping, sprinting, lunges, heel raises, step-ups, lateral band walking, hamstring curls are just some of the exercises that should be included in such a program.
The Importance of Physical Therapy Consultations
Consulting with an exercise specialist like a physical therapist is essential in developing a well-rounded program tailored to your needs and sport specific requirements, states Pliskow. A good physical therapist will “discuss your goals, perform a detailed and objective physical exam and develop an exercise injury prevention program suited to your individual needs.”
Contrary to common belief, a prescription isn’t required to see a physical therapist in New York. New York State law allows patients direct access to consultation, evaluation and treatment by a physical therapist without a prescription. This is dependent on the therapist having a minimum of three years of experience and that the patient does not have Medicare as a primary insurance.