If you are either an endurance runner or someone who is completely new to the running scene, you should see a sports therapist, preferably before a chronic injury develops.
This is according to Wendy Lee, 47, an avid runner and the founder of Sports Relief Therapy, a professional health-care set up that specialises in the prevention of sports injury and aids in patient recovery.
See a clinical sports therapist to prevent past injuries from becoming chronic
She explained, “They (runners) should see a clinical sports therapist namely for past injuries left unattended and may have developed into chronic conditions which could prematurely end their passion in running.”
Continued Lee, “Likewise, for beginners, the sports therapist will have their muscles checked and conditioned and can also give them professional advice on injury prevention and stay injury-free to continually enjoy the sport.”
If you have a specific area of soreness or pain, such as a tender knee from running, or a swollen limb, it is a good idea to see a therapist for muscle or joint mobilisation and muscle restriction, which can help you to identify and correct the movement patterns that may be causing the injury. Sports therapists such as Lee, focus directly on such problems and focus their efforts on treating the cause of the actual problem – to prevent it from becoming a chronic injury.
While Lee views self-treatment as being okay, if you know what you are doing, she added that you should see a therapist if there is no visible improvements taking place. Explained Lee, “When all self-treatments are tried without any significant recovery, then it will be wise to seek professional clinical help from a sports specialist therapist as the injury can escalate from an acute to a chronic stage, leading to other muscular strains if left untreated.”
Helping runners to understand more about their bodies
As a runner herself, Lee also understands what it feels like to not being able to run because of an injury – and she would sometimes nip potential injuries in the bud, before they develop into full-blown ones.
Said Lee, “Through my years of running and continual sports treatment education, I am now helping runners understand more about their own running abilities and correcting their habits ranging from wrong foot wear to proper self-care for injury prevention which can affect muscle performance.”
To Lee, SportsRelief Therapy was started, as a way of helping runners to manage their injuries and pains. Said Lee, “I had met countless runner friends who had experienced all sorts of leg injuries and felt helpless at not knowing how to relieve the pain and they had no clue too, at what had caused the injury – myself included.”
Today, she has a team of three sports therapists to deal with injuries for all kind of sports as well as chronic pains due to postural issues.
Type of treatments at Lee’s clinic, typically range from clinical treatments to relieve acute and chronic pains, and sports massages for relieving the muscles and uncovering problem areas, to sports lymphatic drainage, targeting the simulation of the lymphatic vessels – which increases the flow of metabolic waste, excess fluid and bacteria.
Some notable people she has treated
Some of the more well-known runners in the local running scene, who have benefitted from the services of Lee, have included avid runner Mohandas Kandiah – more commonly known as Mohan Marathon, as well as veteran ultra-marathoner Ivan Lau.
Said Mohan, 55, who was treated for shin splints and a knee injury, “I have seen Wendy’s relentless determination in running and deep passion and her love for helping runners who are suffering from chronic injuries that can end their running journeys prematurely. I can see her personal quest as a devoted healer.”
Added Lau, who was treated for chronic Plantar Fasciitis and IT Band Syndrome, “After my first marathon with StanChart Marathon in December 2011, I was injured, but now I am running almost three to four times a week, doing back-to-back runs and have had no serious injury since. Wendy has a good team of therapists as they are able to analyse where the tight muscles are and how to treat them.”
Diagnosed last year with slipped disc, Loh Jee Seng is another runner who has benefitted from Lee’s services. Said Loh, “I was diagnosed with slipped disc in 2014 and was told that I would have to bear with it on and off, if pain persist. High impact running then was definitely out for me. But after regular treatment from Wendy, I have improved greatly and a few weeks later, I was back running on the roads.”
For more information on Sports Relief Therapy, see www.sportsrelief.sg