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Carson Robertson
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Preventing and Recovering from Parkour Injuries

Parkour, Anyone?

Parkour, the extreme sport of moving across natural urban obstacles, often from rooftop to rooftop, is growing in popularity. The sport gained exposure after being showcased in several recent movie action sequences, as well as viral YouTube videos. Since extreme sporting events are all the rage in the U.S. these days, it didn't take long for parkour to take hold. Hundreds of parkour gyms are opening up across the United States, providing even more opportunities for novices to try out this new sport; there is even a movement afoot to get parkour certified as an Olympic event. While parkour is a unique sport that enables participants to push themselves to the limits of their endurance and abilities, there is one downside: injuries.

The extreme nature of this sport, scaling urban obstacles that are not designed for athletic use, can naturally lead to injury. A recent survey conducted in New Zealand indicated that over 55 percent of parkour enthusiasts there suffered injuries of some sort while participating in the sport. Common injuries included shin splints, sprains, tendonitis, and other soft tissue injuries, along with fractures and breaks requiring urgent medical care. While the later injuries take intensive care and time to recover from, soft tissue injuries do not have to keep you from pushing the limits on the rooftop anymore. There are several innovative therapies available to help prevent these type of injuries, or to heal you more rapidly when they occur. So there is no reason you can't get back out there in the urban environment and start moving again.

The Graston Technique: Great for Parkour Fans

One of the newer treatments for parkour injuries is the Graston Technique (GT). GT is a form of soft tissue mobilization. GT involves a trained practitioner using a specially designed set of stainless steel instruments to manipulate afflicted soft tissue. The GT instruments allow clinicians to identify injured tissue, and then are used to break down scar tissue and other restrictors. The technique facilitates increased blood flow to problem areas, alleviates pain, and can speed up the recovery process. While still a relatively new medical innovation, several clinical trials have affirmed the Graston Technique's effectiveness at addressing soft tissue injuries.

Graston Technique knee pain 2

GT therapy is great news for new or experienced parkour fans with shin splints, sprains, tendonitis, and other soft tissue injuries. Dedicated or new athletes are likely to experience strained muscles and tendons while scaling walls or jumping across rooftops; these types of injuries, often called adhesions, can keep muscles painfully tight and limit range of motion. GT is particularly effective at addressing these conditions. Additionally, GT can immediately address the buildup of scar tissue, alleviate lingering pain, and promote soft tissue healing. The Graston technique can be especially effective at addressing injuries before they become serious and debilitating, so it is worth checking with your physical therapist to get treatment as soon as your aches and pains start adding up.



Active Release Treatment Therapy (ART) for and Parkour

Active Release Therapy, or ART, is another relatively new non-invasive technique to treat injuries commonly seen in parkour, whether from falls or muscle tears while climbing urban obstacles. ART is a patented technique that involves hand manipulation of soft tissue by a trained practitioner. ART's 500-move treatment protocol is exceptionally effective at identifying damaged soft tissue, and then treating it. These carefully designed, precision movements, like GT, can help increase blood flow, alleviate pain, and restore range of motion. All of this, again, is great news for parkour fans everywhere.

Specially trained ART practitioners are adept at identifying the source of soft tissue injury or pain, then breaking down the scar tissue causing it. Active Release Therapy is also used as a preventative measure to keep muscles and tendons primed for workouts, thus avoiding injury altogether. This is great news for parkour enthusiasts who are experiencing continual or growing soft tissue pain. So if injuries are holding you back from pushing the envelope on urban terrain, ART may be the right choice for you.

Leave the Pain and Cross the Terrain

Parkour, although a new sport, is surging in popularity. Parkour offers people a unique physical and mental challenge, and requires a toughness that goes well beyond most traditional sporting events. A tough parkour session is likely to leave participants extremely sore at the end of the line, or potentially sidelined with an injury. The Graston Technique and Active Release Therapy offer parkour enthusiasts innovative ways to keep muscles and tendons in good shape, and prevent injury altogether. They are also extremely effective at treating soft tissue injuries and rapidly getting you back in action. So don't wait until it's too late. Do your homework, find a clinician who offers GT or ART and keep yourself injury free as you scale high walls and jump across rooftops.