Tel: 01707 888 229

Sports Injuries

We specialise in the treatment of sports injuries. Especially the treatment of difficult non resolving symptoms like plantar fascitis, sciatica, shin splints.  In general conditions that do not respond well to self help, pain killers or steroid injections. Our professional and experienced team of Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Acupuncturists and Sports Massage therapists work in a integrated way. Our team will work together with you in order to resolve your sports injuries effectively. We wont charge you a penny more for this service. Symptom presentation can be complex, we have 30 years experience and can provide guidance in the right direction. If you don’t respond well we will put our heads together, ask why? Then do something about it. We have always worked this way – We know in general two heads are better than one and not one specialism cures all !

Providing athletes with effective long term solutions

Providing our sporting patients with long term solutions  is important to us. We will get to the root cause of your condition – beyond the symptoms. You don’t want you to spend your life on a treatment table. The Hatfield Practice over 30 years of clinical experience you can be rest assured that you are choosing the right Practice. We provide pitch side and look after local league sides, occasional joggers and sporting beginners. As well as working with numerous elite athletes and sports professionals,  professional football clubs such as Stevenage FC, senior rugby sides , athletic squads and team members


Our approach to sports and training injuries 

Our approach can be easy going, comprehensive or as intense as need be or as you wish. Anything from providing a couple of treatments to aid recovery up to a full specialist treatment programme. We provide deep tissue massage, mixed treatments of Acupuncture and physiotherapy. Combinations of Physiotherapy and osteopathy provide rehabilitation after injury. Working with you to provide a bespoke fitness and recovery programme. Sports treatment can be extremely effective in the run up  to any important events. We also have experience in managing acute pain, reducing inflammation and swelling. Its very important to speed up healing time especially when a marathon is looming or with over training  injuries. Treatment can involve a combination of  Physiotherapy, Acupuncture, deep tissue massage techniques. Other approaches can include K tape, professionally instructed self massage techniques and electro – therapy  or laser if needed.

It’s vital you don’t ignore pain 

Injury can affect your joints, bones, muscles, joints or the connective tissues that hold them together. The tendons and ligaments tend to heal slowly as they don’t have forced blood supply like muscles. Most of the time the cause of your injury is very often easily established. Intensive treatment at home or by a professional is helpful. Specific advice and rehab style exercises can speed healing  and recurrence. A physiotherapist will help you understand why your injury happened or why it previously did not resolve completly.  Sports injuries needn’t stop your fitness programme for long. It’s vital you don’t ignore pain, injuries and simply ‘soldier on’ as this may leave you with a chronic condition that’s far harder to treat or needs surgery.

What causes injury?

One common cause of injury, especially in contact sports, is trauma – in other words, bad back , a twisted knee, a sprained ankle, stiff muscles, swollen spinal joints, disc damage or trapped nerves etc. Traumatic injuries are usually the result of impact and collisions. They typically occur suddenly, so generally there’s not much you can do to prevent them. Although in most games or sports one of the aims of the rules and referee is to reduce the risk of injury.  Injuries can occur gradually over time  in part due to gradual aggravation or training methods.  Easily identifiable problems are best examined early and are preventable in many cases. In passing risk factors that lead to injury are usually classified as being extrinsic (outside the body) or intrinsic (personal to your body).

Ensuring you are pain free and back in the shortest possible time.

 ”Such enthusiasm… Thank you for your advice and support. I think the surgeon would of got his own way if i hadnt of found you. Always a relaxing happy place “. Alistair (Top Level Sprinter) Welwyn Garden City.

Whats the best advice ? 

 One of the secrets to recovery after injury is prompt professional treatment. Experienced practitioners will undertake a detailed examination, provide you with a clear diagnosis and focused hands on treatment.  Proper management and good advice will help the injury to resolve as fast as possible. We all know that scanning google for injury advice and then trying to work out whats best is a nightmare. We offer our patients no non-sense bio-mechanical analysis and treatment. Please feel free to call the Hatfield Practice team for advice we will do our best to help.

Your first sports treatment at the Practice

First treatment involves a good examination to highlight the reasons that may of caused the injury. This may be your  training programme, general  joint and or muscle function, old problems, disc injuries, diet or supplementation. Muscle imbalances and many more subtle factors can creep around in the back ground and lead to further injuries and fatigue. We will  get to the root  cause of your problem and will ensure you are pain free and back to action in the shortest possible time.You may find choosing a treatment to start with a little difficult?  Call the Hatfield Practice reception or ask to speak to one of our practitioners ? on 01707 888229 to discuss your requirements before you make an appointment. However if your therapist feels that another approach might be more effective, he/she will be more than happy to ‘cross-refer’  to another specialist through our in house “Triage” referral system.


“I’m a triathlete, runner and cyclist. Over the years, Ian has treated me for a number of injuries. He understands the importance of getting me back training and racing as quickly as possible. On several occasions I expected to be advised to stop training, but after an examination Ian told me I could continue. In each case I went on to make a full recovery following his treatment.”

Graham. St Albans


Typical extrinsic factors include:

Below are some of the commonest causes of injury, the quickest route to rehabilitation, and the experts who can help.

  • Excessive load on the body. The tissues of the body are capable of withstanding considerable stress often more than three times your weight can go through the body even when jogging slowly. But tissues that aren’t accustomed to such forces won’t have adapted to withstand them and are likely to be injured when they’re applied. When deciding how often, how hard and for how long to exercise, you need to consider the impact on your muscles and joints. Build up gradually to avoid injury.
  • Poor technique. A number of so-called ‘overuse injuries’ are related to sports or exercise technique. Indeed, some injuries are even popularly named after their sport (for instance, tennis elbow). Often it’s the repetition of an action with faulty technique that results in excessive load on tissues and subsequent injury.
  • Poor or inappropriate equipment, especially footwear and, in some sports, headgear. If your activity involves impact (things such as running and jumping) then wearing proper footwear that supports your feet and cushions your body from shock is vital. Your need for specialist footwear – or other sports equipment – may be determined in part by intrinsic factors such as ‘over pronation’ (see below).
  • Failure to warm up and warm down. Many of the body’s tissues (particularly muscle) respond better to loading when they’re warm. The warming-up process should include whole body exercise that increases blood flow to muscles and makes them more responsive. At the end of every training session, you should also warm down, bringing your body back down to normal, usually through low intensity activity, followed by flexibility exercises.

Intrinsic injury risk factors include:

Bodily things such as the shape and structure of the major joints. For example, weakened or stiff muscles caused by hours of sitting, mechanical problems such as plantar fascitis, feet that ‘pronate’ (roll inwards). Some athletes have a weak foot arch that will often contribute to lower leg, shin splints and knee conditions in runners. Knee injuries can also come from  ‘knock knees’ (genu valgus) or ‘bow legs’ (genu varus) excessive exercise can cause ligament or boney pain.

Other injury risk factors include:

  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Muscle weakness or imbalance
  • Limited flexibility
  • Joint laxity – not being able to control and stabilise joints throughout their full range of motion
  • Being overweight – this increases the load on muscles, tendons, ligaments and joint structures during weight-bearing activities


What should I do if I get injured ?

Obviously a serious trauma injury, such as a broken bone or ruptured ligaments, will require immediate medical attention, but many sports injuries are not so dramatic. Most respond simply to inflammation reducing treatment such as physiotherapy or  acupuncture. A sports injury typically present as pain, swelling, redness and tenderness or increased temperature to the area. This is called a “inflammatory response” and it’s how the body tries to heal itself. In short its the body’s attempt to process blood  (from torn tissue) and damaged cells. Inflammation reducing treatment helps the injury by improving blood flow.

Acupuncture Stimulates the release of pain killing endorphins

Physiotherapy or osteopathy helps the body to  “compensate” by improving function in the tissues and joints around the affected area and spine. Effective treatment may help to reduce further injury. Excessive swelling (oedema) can interfere with the initial healing process, so it’s important in the early “first aid” stages of a sports injury to help limit the swelling. A prime example would be Acupuncture which inhibits prostaglandin ( released inflammatory products) and stimulates the release of endorphins.  These are released by the body into the affected area to help control pain and reduce the inflammation your feeling. Endorphins produced by the body and further stimulated by acupuncture are three or four times more powerful than morphine !


”I have never been anywhere, quite like the Welwyn and Hatfield Practice and i would certainly never go anywhere else. They always try 110% ”Dave  J. Hertford


Very Basic First Aid

  • N = non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, which reduce inflammation and swelling, and alleviate pain (remember to check the label for contraindications).
  • I = ice, or cold therapy, since this decreases pain and limits the extent of the swelling. Ice should never be placed directly against the skin. The time for which a tissue should be cooled depends upon the site and severity of the injury.
  • C = compression, usually in the form of a compression bandage. This mechanically limits the amount of swelling by restricting the amount of space in and around the injury.
  • E = elevation. This also helps control swelling since fluid is drained more effectively from the injury.
  • R = restricted activity. To allow the healing process to proceed, the injured area must be rested initially