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Osteopathy and Sports by Stephen Watts

Osteopaths believe the whole body must be functioning well together to ensure the best health and optimal performance. Everyone who is body aware or performs sports on a regular basis will appreciate this.

Running, for example, isn’t just putting one foot in front of the other. It’s a coordination between the lower extremity including hips and pelvis with the movement in the upper body. The ability for our mid and upper back to rotate freely allows us to drive the arms and shoulder girdle backwards and forwards to counter the forces from below with each stride. The head position not only affects this but also can change the ease and effectiveness of our breathing. Small imbalances whether from old injuries, underuse or overuse, can disrupt efficient biomechanics leading to reduced performance or even injury.

Many athletes, whether professional, weekend warrior or someone in between, see osteopaths for regular ‘tune ups’ to keep their body functioning mechanically at an optimal level. Because of the holistic assessment and treatment, osteopaths are often able to pick up on imbalances or strains before they even become an injury. Over a period of time then, the athlete is able to train more consistently, balancing and strengthening any weak points along the way leading to improved performance, body awareness and more enjoyment of their sport.

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