As the Commonwealth Games draw to a close, the excitement of a sporting event hosted at home has inspired the nation, many of whom will be encouraged to venture into a new sport.
However, transitioning between sports, and making our bodies move in different ways without preparation, puts us at risk of injury.
While almost two thirds of Aussies participate in sports, a staggering one-in-three of those will struggle with a sport-related injury each year. Sustaining a sports injury can not only end a season, but also put livelihoods at risk.
Jessica Gallagher is the only Australian Olympic and Paralympic athlete to win both summer and winter medals and is no stranger to transitioning into different sports, having represented Australia in alpine skiing, athletics and most recently track cycling.
“As individuals we are all unique, and each sport we participate in is unique,” she said.
“By thinking about what our sport may require of us it allows us the opportunity to reduce the likelihood and mitigate injuries before they happen.
“Transitioning between sports has and always will be incredibly challenging.
“There is a very high risk of injury and dysfunction, as an athlete’s body is so finely tuned to suit their particular sport.”
Osteopathy is a drug free therapy for injury and can be used as a preventative measure to prepare the body when transitioning between sports.
“A lot of the general public think osteopathy is all about back pain; however, many weekend warriors and successful sports people see an osteopath to treat a wide range of sporting injuries and improve their performance,” Osteopathy Australia CEO Anthony Nicholas said.
Being an elite athlete, Gallagher has had her fair share of injuries, and sees the benefits of osteopathy.
“Our body is so wonderfully connected, when one part is injured the effects are widespread and osteopathy has played a huge role in ensuring I am the best version of myself,” she said.
“Sport provides us with wonderful physical, mental and social health benefits. Personally, I love the mix of excitement and nerves of doing something I have never done before and seeing where it might take me. If I don’t like the sport I just try something else!”