Hamstring hell relief

PLAYING sport at any level, not to mind for your county, can take its toll on the body. For Andy Moran, 28, a Mayo GAA footballer who won his first All-Star in 2011, it was his hamstring in his left leg and lower back that gave him trouble.

“I developed hamstring trouble in 2006,” says Andy who plays Gaelic football with his club Ballaghaderreen GAA Club, and is a member of the Mayo senior inter-county team. “I had a stiffness in my leg and a pain up through my leg and into my lower back. I just didn’t have a full range of motion in it.

I played on with the hamstring - I never actually tore it. But I’d feel that I couldn’t sprint with it or use my full running power. I would feel like it was restricted,” he says.

The hamstring itself refers to the group of muscles that form the back of the thigh extending from the hip to the knee. Injuries to the hamstring are common in sports and athletics because of the intensity of use of the hamstring muscle in these activities.

“I went to a lot of people for help from the time I got the hamstring trouble in 2006,” says Andy, who has represented Mayo at minor, U21 and senior level, and who has won Connacht titles at each grade.

“I went to chiropractors and physiotherapists. Initially, it was thought I had sciatica and over the years, any relief I got was temporary. I’d be able to play a game but then it would hit me when I was driving the car,” he says.

Andy finally happened upon chiropractor Shane Lawlor who operates the Lawlor Clinic in Portlaoise, Co Laois with wife and fellow chiropractor Karen.

“Shane used active release technique which was a different way of looking at the condition and he treated it using stretching,” says Andy, who has also represented IT Sligo and the University of Ulster Jordanstown in the Sigerson Cup, winning three titles.

Active release technique is essentially a soft tissue system/movement-based massage technique used to treat problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.

Shane Lawlor is a lead instructor for the technique in Europe and the Lawlor Clinic treats sports-related injuries for professional and amateur sports people along with common conditions including back or neck pain, headaches, sciatica and soft tissue injuries in non-sporting adults and children.

“The hamstring hasn’t really troubled me since,” says Andy, who works as a community development officer with Mayo/Roscommon Hospice.

. More info: www.lawlorclinic.ie

Athletes tire out when they don’t drink up

Fatigue can lead to poor game performance and can leave athletes more prone to injury, says performance nutritionist Lorna Morrison, who was speaking at a seminar for basketball coaches recently.

“Weight loss experienced by a player during a training session or game is mainly due to the loss of fluid through sweat,” she said.

“Dehydration can result and can affect the way that players perform, with a 5% drop in performance for every 1% drop in body weight. Fluid deficit incurred in one session may also compromise the next training session if adequate fluid replacement does not occur.”

Ms Morrison was speaking at the seminar in Letterkenny, Co Donegal organised by Basketball Ireland with The National Dairy Council. The seminar is part of the Milk it For All It’s Worth Campaign.

AIDS West launches first sexual health app

The Sexual Health Guide, Ireland’s first ever sexual health app, is available on Apple and Android mobile phone platforms. The app was developed by AIDS West to mark 25 years of their work in the field of sexual health education and support in Ireland.

The app addresses all aspects of sexual health providing useful information on the importance of positive sexual experiences, frequently asked questions, information on sexually transmitted infections and contraception plus where to go for help.

The free app is user-friendly and contains useful information for people of all ages and backgrounds. AIDS West believes the app is a necessary development, particularly among a younger, sexually active population.

DId you know...

Sugar-sweetened drinks increase men’s risk of heart disease

(Source: Harvard School of Public Health, US)


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