By Molly Congdon
CLIFTON PARK — Injuries are a problem for everyone: the young and the old, the athlete and the non-athlete, the construction worker and the office dweller.
It’s an unfortunate reality.
Dr. John Ferguson of Ferguson Family Chiropractic — located at 1783 Route 9 — passes out some tips on injury prevention to keep out of the emergency room, off the bench and back in the game we call life:
Don’t slouch: “The first and foremost is that posture is one of the big things; it affects every function within the body, everything from the nervous system to how to breath to how your joints work,” Ferguson said. “Most physicians won’t address posture so that’s kind of one of the things to have a big focus on; that’s one of the keys. Your ability to move, be more stable, relates to posture.”
He continued: “It’s the foundation of your health, so if the posture’s off then there’s a number of developmental and progressive conditions and injuries that can result in muscles, disks in the spine, work or sport injures and neck or back pain.”
Prepare yourself: “Related to sports-specific skills or work-specific skills, where you get your heart rate up, do stretches or exercises that you are going to encounter during the day or during an event so that you are ready for that type of activity,” Ferguson said. “You want to approach things as if it were an athletic event; even when I adjust patients in the office I pretend that this is a sport that I’m playing. You have to ask yourself: ‘What can I do to reduce the likelihood of injury?
Guzzle that water: “Definitely keeping hydrated is very important,” Ferguson said. “Keeping the soft tissues, muscles, ligaments and tendons properly hydrated so that they are less likely to be injured.”
Gear up: “Make sure that the gear you use or the environment that you have is suited to your needs,” Ferguson said. “Not trying to fit into a gear or work station that’s not suited for you.”
Do your research: This one goes out to all the athletes. “There are a lot of concussions out there,” Ferguson said. “Learning the signs and symptoms of concussions, what can be done in terms of getting back to pre-injury status and making sure that you can recognize what concussions are–and other injuries as well–so that you’re not just playing through it.”
Don’t rush it: “It’s important that you get enough rest,” Ferguson said. “All healing takes time.”
All in place: “If you had an injury, make sure there is good alignment with the spine,” Ferguson said. “This most often gets overlooked, but having the bones of the spine in a proper position, or the extremities because we do focus a lot on extremities–whether it be shoulders, wrists, knees or feet. When things are in proper alignment, they have the chance of working better.”
Cross train: “These days there are lot of high expectations,” Ferguson said. “There is a big push for kids to be better than the neighbor’s kids or even to do better than their parents did. More and more parents are focusing on one or two sports year round and what happens is a lot more injuries because those areas are never getting a chance to rest. So, cross training and doing different sports, changing it up season to season is very important and will lessen the likelihood of injury.”