If you're an aspiring athlete pushing yourself on a frequent basis, you may find that you pick up the odd injury now and again. This is to be expected, yet it doesn't mean it has to be a regular occurrence within your training regime. Ensuring that you train smart is just as important as training hard, as prevention is certainly better than cure when it comes to your own body's health. However, there will always be occasions where an injury creeps up on you without warning and you're stuck with days, if not weeks, of rehabilitation. During this time you can still be pro-active, and there are plenty of alternatives to plain old bed rest to get you back on your feet.
Shockwave therapy is growing more common in the world of pain treatment and rehabilitation. It uses mechanical pressure pulses, similar to sound waves, to treat a variety of conditions such as tendonitis and tennis elbow. Gel is applied to the part of the body which is currently in pain. This then conducts the pulses that are generated from a probe. It can be painful depending on the treatment given, and so local anaesthetic is sometimes given. Unlike remedial massage and sports massage, this is more of a treatment than a preventative; however, it can be used to treat pain before it becomes an issue, too, on some occasions.
Remedial massage focuses on the application of pressure on different muscles to relieve tension and pain. The strokes are often short but strong and can at times be uncomfortable, however the idea is to breakdown scar tissue and encourage blood flow. With an increase in blood comes an increase in vital nutrients that will help muscles to repair, whilst allowing proper distribution of heat around the muscle to reduce stiffness and enhance elasticity. Remedial massage is perfect not just for rehabilitation, but also regularly after training, which makes it a good preventative for muscle tears and strains.
Myofascial release commonly known as foam rolling is another great preventative measure you can take to reduce the chance of muscles tightness and pain. Just incorporate foam rolling into your stretching routine whenever you train, and it'll be like having your very own deep tissue massage right there in the gym. Just place the foam roller on the ground and roll whichever muscle you want to treat over it, using your bodyweight to increase the pressure. Lower limb rolling is more common, but the back can also be done, just ask your local gym instructors for more tips on how to use this device.