core strength




If you’re quick on your feet and don’t fancy the outdoor slush of a muddy pitch, but are looking for an energetic team game, have you considered the excitement of a fast-paced netball or basketball game?


Both games rely on speed, agility and dexterity. Not only that, but with specific rules about how you handle the ball and where you can move on the court – in netball, your position controls where you can go and what you can do – both netball and basketball are suited to fast movers and fast thinkers.  On court, it’s crucial that you have great flexibility and stability, particularly in your feet and ankles, as you’ll often be turning on the spot.


Another favourite indoor sport that demands fast movement and agility is squash. Again, you’ll need to have strong ankles to cope with the pace, movement and change of direction that characterises this popular sport.


That’s why it’s essential you warm up and cool down properly. We talk about warm up and cool down sequences a lot at Bespoke Injury Management, but that’s because they’re so important to injury prevention and management. We recommend a dynamic stretch routine before you play – where you use movement in your stretching. And when you cool down, we think static stretches – the ones you hold for 30-90 seconds – are generally better.


A great warm-up or cool-down sequence will take you from the top of your head – stretching out your neck muscles and shoulders – through your core and down into your legs and ankles. Even a simple ankle-circle clockwise and anti-clockwise for a few seconds on each leg can make all the difference between a healthy game and one marred by a sprained or twisted ankle.


It’s also important you choose the right footwear for your sport. Sloppy, badly fitting shoes that make you slide over the court with no grip will do your body no favours. Instead, make sure you invest in properly fitting footwear with the right style and grip for the game you’re playing. Not only will your shoes make you more stable on court, they’ll probably make you faster and more responsive, too. That’s a win all round.


You might also be wondering if it’s OK to exercise through pain? Our general advice is that it’s not a good idea. What starts out as a small problem can easily turn into a full-blown injury, particularly if you don’t rest enough. That’s not to say you won’t get the odd aches and pains if you’re running around on court again, but if your pain lingers or worsens, it’s a good idea to get it checked out soon. Here at Bespoke Injury Management we’re always on hand to advise, reassure and treat, whatever your problem, so don’t hesitate to ask.


And finally, if netball, basketball or squash aren’t your thing, don’t forget this month sees the Great North Run, Ryder Cup and World Sailing Championships. So there's plenty to enjoy!


If you’d like pop in to see Donna Norman from Bespoke Injury Management, you can come to Oxford Street Therapy Centre in Wellingborough or call 01933 224454or 07814 396872. You can also email

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Kick off a great training regime!



If you’re a football fan, you’ll know that UK league football kicks off in August, with Manchester City bidding to retain the Premier League they won in May. The season is starting a little later this year, following the World Cup in June and July.  England will be warming up this month, too, for their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, which begins with matches in September, October, and November, plus March and June next year.


As the season starts, every manager is hoping for the best line-up for their teams. But how do pro footballers stay in shape in the off-season, so that they’re ready to go when it all starts again?


It seems that many footballers keep their workouts going, but they may mix it up, like other sports players, with sports or activities they don’t normally do. They may do gym work, circuit training, running or something completely different. Some choose to work on a particular area – like strength or core training, power or agility.


In fact, at the recent Commonwealth Games, it was revealed that swimming gold medal winner Hannah Miley includes rock climbing in her workouts to build upper body strength. Rest is also an essential part of staying fit, as is nutrition. You may have been doing all these things, too, if your sport, like football, hasn’t officially kicked off yet.


However, you’ll need to watch out that you don’t over-do it, even when you’re not playing your favourite game. Crossing over into running or swimming, for example if they’re not your sports, could lead to other injuries, if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s important you include an effective stretching routine into your workout. Make sure you gently work all your muscle groups from your head and neck right down to your calves and ankles. Or why not pick up a yoga or Pilates class to guide you through some great, stretching bodywork exercises?


If you’ve taken time out from exercise, it’s also important that you ease back into a routine gradually. You may have been super-fit when your season finished, but fitness gradually disappears and you shouldn’t be discouraged, if the first few weeks of training feel harder than you expected. Just do what your body is prepared to do and try to avoid injury by building up gradually. After all, the worst thing would be to start the season sitting on the sidelines, because you’re injured!


And when you start to play, keep the focus on stretching and a good warm-up. If you’re playing a sport like football, your hamstrings, quads and calves will probably be much tighter than they were at the end of the season. It’s important to pay attention to these key areas.


Of course, if you do pick up an injury – or even just a little niggle – the sooner you get it sorted out, the better it will be. We know how important it is not just to get fit, but to stay fit, so you can enjoy your sport throughout the season.


If you’d like to find out more about a pre-season check-up or to make an appointment, pop in to see Donna Norman from Bespoke Injury Management at Oxford Street Therapy Centre or call 01933 224454 or 07814 396872. You can also email

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Get free from back pain


2-P1080924Whether you’re a spin bowler or sofa surfer, keep your back safe this month.

Did you know that May is the month, when the UK cricket season really gets going? Or that you can now watch county teams play not just at weekends, but on weekdays, too?

Longer, warmer days and changes to the cricket schedule mean cricket fans can indulge their passion more easily this year.


Of course, like other sports, cricket has its fair share of risk and injuries. Among the top five cricket injuries are hamstring strains, lower back pain, side strain, shoulder pain and sprained ankles. All these conditions are not only painful, but can negatively affect your season – especially tough if you enjoy a sport that’s not available all year round.

If you're a keen bowler, you're particularly at risk, especially from lower back pain. You may be vulnerable to stress fractures in your back. Just bending to pick up a ball or standing still for a long time can make your back tired and stressed – leading to short-term or chronic back pain. The problem is, your back’s involved in so many movements, not only on the pitch, but off it, too.

And back strain is painful, limiting and frustrating.


If your back hurts, it affects simple, everyday jobs, like stacking the dishwasher, getting in your car or even putting on your shoes. It’s not only when you play sport, that you can hurt your back – sitting badly, twisting awkwardly, even carrying heavy shopping can all bring on back pain.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help yourself. One is to be mindful about how much strain you're putting on your back. Building core stability – through simple exercises or stretching disciplines, like yoga or pilates – can be really helpful. If the muscles in your back are stable, you're less likely to suffer injury. And if you do injure yourself, you'll heal quicker.


A good diagnosis about your back pain always helps, so do pop in to see us anytime. We're always happy to take a look at you. And we’ll be able to tell if you have a more serious problem, like stress fractures, which would mean you’d need to rest up for a while.

Sports physio will help you get back on your feet – and back on the pitch – as soon as possible and ensure you do it safely. We’ll give you solid advice on how to prevent further injury. We can take a look at issues like posture and can give you useful exercises to build strength. Although we love seeing you, we love seeing you enjoy your favourite sport even more, whether that's on the pitch or from the sofa!

If you’d like to find out more about back pain, any injury or to book an appointment, pop in to see Donna Norman from Bespoke Injury Management at Oxford Street Therapy Centre or call 01933 224454 or 07814 396872. You can also email


ONE billion pounds – is the amount the NHS spends on back problems each year.

FIVE million days – are lost to British business each year through back-related sick leave.

FORTY-EIGHT hours – is the maximum time you should wait, before getting your back pain checked out.

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