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Getting an injury can be the difference between a season of medals, personal bests and finish line photos or a disappointing summer of cancelled races, limping and feeling unfit.

In partnership with physiotherapy experts Six Physio, the Castle Triathlon Series has carried out research among triathletes to uncover the most common injuries experienced. The worst culprits in the league table of injuries for triathletes are Achilles and Knee pain, with back, shoulder and neck pain close behind.

The League Table of Triathletes Most Common Injuries
 

Injury

Percentage of respondents who had experienced this injury
Achilles/Calf pain 25%
Knee pain 25%
Back pain 15%
Shoulder Pain 10%
Neck Pain 5%

Despite experiencing injuries through triathlon training and competing, 45% of the survey respondents stated that they did not have any physio regularly, and only 25% said that they have physio treatment even when they are injured.

Interestingly, the survey also documents that triathletes have seen less or no difference in injuries experiences versus another sport, testament to the theory that triathlon is physiologically less straining on your body than taking part in a single sport, such as running.

Lynne Cantwell, Consultant Physiotherapist at Six Physio, explains that injuries can be avoided and risk reduced by daily stretching and targeted activities.

Lynne explained, “Its crucial to keep your calves fresh, supple and strong throughout training in prep for competition. The foam roller is every triathletes best friend and should be used daily to release all muscles and specifically calf tension, it’ll loosen knots that build-up which can eventually cause tears. Physio input works to screen for imbalances created from training demands and intervene to iron out these glitches in time to prep for game day. We can also help with advise of how to manage an injury during the event itself to try and stay on target”.

Key recommendations from Six Physio to avoid injury:

  • Listen to your body and don’t ignore signs of fatigue, pain and slow unexplained progress.
  • Understand where your imbalances are and get advise on how to correct them.
  • Manual physiotherapy will target the tension spots and use hands on treatments to restore optimal muscle length and tension. Rehab physiotherapy is aimed at retraining correct muscle function and building functional strength and control in the body.
  • Invest in your recovery strategies to compliment your training. The best strategies are good diet and hydration plan, foam rolling daily, sports massage, short Pilates and rehab sessions 1-2 per week.

If you’re unlucky and do get an injury, the best advice is to:

  • Rest and seek advice in first 48 hours.
  • Once pain has settled, use roller to access any tension spots in the area.
  • Look to slowly rehab the injury on advice from your physio and in the early days, don’t push through pain.

Triathletes recognise the value of stretching and rated this the most valued advice they would like to see. Triathletes who are looking to incorporate more physio into their training programme can head to the Six Physio website and see how to stretch effectively can find training videos here, helping triathletes of all levels to lean how to prevent injury.

To receive immediate personalised advice, head online to Six Physio’s ‘Ask the Guru’ portal to submit your queries here. Castle Triathlon Series competitors can call Six Physio on and quote code CTS20 to receive 20% off an initial Physio appointment (1hr), massage or Sports Assessment.