Online booking now available - tap here and BOOK NOW

Alison Leonard, Chester
I’m writing to say how glad I’ve been for your help with my back and hip problems. The treatments you give are always beneficial, and I feel in safe hands...

Read more



Osteopathy Neck Pain


Osteopathy Postural Problems


Osteopathy Disc Problems


Osteopathy Whiplash


Osteopathy Stiffness


Osteopathy Sports Injuries


Osteopathy Children


Osteopathy Children


At the Osteopathic Health Centre Chester we can help you recover from a host of conditions including; low back pain, neck pain, sports injuries, arthritis and muscle spasms.

We are conveniently placed for visitors coming to us from all parts of; Cheshire, Wirral, Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales, Chester, Christleton, Tattenhall, Tarporley, Malpas, Kelsall, Helsby, Frodsham, Hawarden, Great Sutton, Ellesmere Port, Queensferry, Hawarden, Flint, Wrexham.

Sports Injuries

The term “sports injuries” in the broadest sense refers to injuries which occur during sport or exercise. 

An injury can happen to an athlete in peak condition or a person just enjoying sport or trying to keep fit.

These injuries usually involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones and associated tissues like cartilage.

Common causes of sports injuries

  • Accidents.
  • Not warming up properly before exercise.
  • Poor training practices or improper gear.
  • Pushing too hard for your current level of fitness.
  • Overuse of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity e.g. tennis elbow.
  • Hard contact with something e.g. rugby tackle.

Common types of sports injuries

  • Muscle sprains and strains.
  • Tears of the ligaments that hold joints together.
  • Tears of tendons.
  • Dislocations.
  • Fractured bones including vertebrae.
  • Tendonitis – associated with repetitive use.


Sports injuries can be broadly classified as either traumatic or overuse injuries. Alternatively sports injuries can be divided into acute or chronic;

Acute sports injuries

Occur suddenly when playing or exercising, for example, sprained ankles, strained backs and fractured hands are acute injuries. Signs of an acute injury include;

  • Sudden severe pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Not being able to place weight on a leg, knee, ankle or foot.
  • An arm, elbow, wrist, hand or finger that is suddenly very tender.
  • Not being able to move a joint as normal.
  • Extreme leg or arm weakness.
  • A bone or joint that it is visibly out of place.

Chronic sports injuries

These are on-going injuries which may prevent you from playing or exercising. The pain can be brought on whilst exercising or build up after exercising.Chronic injuries are often niggling intermittent problems which you can put up with. Signs of a chronic injury include;

  • By definition, chronic injuries have been troubling you for a month or more.
  • The pain can be constant or intermittent and can prevent you from exercising.
  • You may experience a dull ache at rest.
  • Swelling can be intermittent (especially after exercising).

When can an osteopath help with sports injuries?

Sports injuries cover a wide area and although specific injuries may require specific management and treatment, osteopaths have their own way of approaching a patient with a sports injury.

Some sports carry inherent risks and have a higher incidence of certain injuries such as footballers who frequently tear or strain the hamstring muscle.  Skiers are prone to injure the cruciate ligament in the knee.

The history is often the clue to discovering the cause and ultimately reaching a diagnosis.

It is important to find out how the injury occurred. This is essential to understanding the mechanism of injury;

  • Was there direct trauma, if so where, how and in what direction?
  • What was the force of the impact?
  • What was the position of the joints when it happens?
  • A full explanation of how it happened.
  • Was there any sound with the injury?
  • Were you able to continue playing?
  • How long ago was the injury?
  • How has it progressed since the injury?  Marked improvement?  Little improvement? Or deteriorated?
  • Have you had any investigations or X-ray, M.R.I. etc?
  • Have you had a similar injury in the past?
  • What level do you train at?

This information will help to assess whether the injury is acute or chronic and whether the pain is related to an injury or strain or related to over use. A full examination will be undertaken. The type of examination performed will be modified according to the history and the presenting symptoms and which joint/limbs are involved.

  • The joint/limb will be observed and palpated for bruising, swelling, distortion or abnormality.
  • The patient will be asked to perform active movements of any of the areas involved.
  • The osteopath will passively move the joint/limb through a variety of movements to test mobility and ligamentous stability.

In some cases it may be necessary to assess the whole posture, back, pelvis, gait and feet. Poor foot mechanics (eg excessive pronation) can predispose a patient to knee pain or an injured hip can refer pain to the knee.  Unequal leg lengths can contribute to back, knee or hip pain. Frequently, with reoccurring sports injuries, we find that another part of the body requires attention to prevent the injury from returning. Faulty equipment, such as poor trainers when running or the wrong grip width on a tennis racket, can contribute to injuries.

Following an osteopath’s assessment you will be given advice on how to maximise your recovery.  

This may include;

  • Osteopathic treatment to return the body to a point of balance which will help speed up your recovery.
  • Tips on how to adjust your training to suit your particular body.
  • Strengthening exercises.
  • Advice on warm up/warm down routines.
  • The osteopath will assess and advise you whether further tests such as x-rays, MRI scans or blood tests are necessary.

How to help prevent sports injuries

  • Always stretch before you play.
  • Don’t over do it; know your body’s limits.
  • Cool down after sports or workouts.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly, are stable and absorb shock.
  • Try to run on flat surfaces, don’t run on asphalt or concrete.
  • Don’t try to do a week’s worth of exercise in a day or two.
  • Learn to do your sport properly.  Use appropriate gear.
  • Build up your exercise level gradually.
  • Strive for a total body workout of cardiovascular, strength training and flexibility exercises.

What shoud I do if I get injured?

Never try to work through the pain of a sports injury especially if the pain comes on suddenly.  Stop playing or exercising when you feel pain. If you continue, you may cause more harm resulting in the injury taking longer to get better. Some injuries need a professional opinion straight away: a trip to A & E, your doctor or an osteopath depending on the injury.

Get advice if;

  • You can’t put any weight on the area.
  • The joint doesn’t feel normal or feels unstable.
  • If there is severe pain, swelling, numbness, or colour change.

 Please ring the Osteopathic Health Centre in Chester for advice on whether osteopathy is appropriate for your condition.