As a fitness instructor, Pilates teacher and physiotherapist, Lara Maddison is one of our most active practitioners!

Lara has been a fitness instructor and trainer for over 11 years and is currently actively teaching Spinning, Aerobics, Resistance Training and Pilates. She went into Physiotherapy as it felt like a natural progression from fitness teaching, the skills greatly complementing each other.

Lara’s style of physiotherapy is very much function based, with a focus on helping to correct alignment and strengthen core control. It also enables her to personalise my treatment plans which often encourages patients to take an active approach in their rehabilitation.

Today, we thought it would be interesting to share Lara’s experience as both a trainer and a Physiotherapist.

Why is it important for particularly sporty people to be aware of, and receive, physiotherapy when they need it?
It’s important for everyone to seek treatment when they need it. Many of us are guilty of ignoring a niggle and carrying on regardless, however symptoms are there for a reason.  If they do not naturally settle within a reasonable time frame (depending on what’s wrong, this could be anything from a couple of weeks to 2-3 months) or increase in frequency and/or intensity, it is worth investing the time to seek a review by a healthcare professional to minimise the effects, prevent the injury becoming chronic and aid return to function.

What do you think is a good combo with regular training?
Sports massage definitely compliments regular training as it helps to focus on tight/over worked muscles and readdress muscular balance. This is particularly helpful when you’re training for a big event. I would always recommend that you see a physio if you feel any niggles or twinges as catching something earlier means you can avoid serious injury – again, very helpful if you’re training for a big event!

Would you recommend that someone who is starting out from nothing have a physio assessment before embarking on an exercise regime?

There is no need for a physiotherapy assessment prior to embarking on an exercise regime.  The key is to ease into it gradually and set yourself realistic goals. This is good for the body – pushing yourself too hard too quickly can result in injury – but is also good for the mind as you can train your mind to enjoy the exercise!

What are the most common injuries you see/treat among very active people?
That’s a tough one!  It can go in trends – knees before the Marathon (those training) and after the Marathon (those inspired).  It really depends on what type of activity you’re doing, it can vary from work out to work out and sport to sport.

What advice would you give to regular gym goers?
I would always recommend varying your training regime and making sure it includes cardio, strength, flexibility and the all-important core control.  It is also a good idea to recheck your technique once in a while – either with a gym buddy or trainer.  We all slip into bad habits – and the body is great at cheating!