What should you know about injuries and rehab as a professional athlete or sports enthusiast besides that they are inevitable?

This episode is dedicated to unpacking the science behind healing and recovery in sports. Dr Stefan Wever, an experienced orthopaedic surgeon with a special interest in foot and ankle surgery, sports injuries, keyhole surgery and reconstructive surgery is the expert that joins our host, Ayanda Charlie, to share his wisdom on this topic.

[00:00:00] Ayanda Charlie: Welcome to The Sports Series, powered by Mediclinic. I’m your host Ayanda Charlie. As a multimedia content producer with a love for investigative journalism, I am here to ask all the questions you might have, chatting to the specialists to get real answers! Keep looking out for our future episodes as we have a great line-up of doctors and other experts to support you with all the information you need for your fitness journey, no matter what level of sports you play!

[00:00:27] Ayanda Charlie: Please note that the views shared by any of our guests in this podcast, may not necessarily reflect the views of Mediclinic, so please consult a medical professional if you have concerns. Today we’ll be speaking about injuries and rehab in sports – a topic that inevitably impacts every athlete and sports player at some time or another in their journey.

[00:00:50] Ayanda Charlie: According to America’s CDC, a three-year study from 2011 through 2014 showed that Americans aged five and up sustained an average 8.6 million sports- and recreation-related injury episodes per year – which just goes to show how prevalent injuries can be! So, whether you’re a professional athlete, a sports enthusiast, or simply curious about the science behind healing and recovery, this podcast has something for you.

[00:01:22] Ayanda Charlie: As we delve into the world of sports injuries, we’ll be joined by Dr Stefan Veefer, an experienced orthopaedic surgeon with a special interest in foot and ankle surgery, sports injuries, keyhole surgery and reconstructive surgery. Along with Dr Wever, we’ll be touching on a wide array of injuries that can occur in sports, ranging from the common sprains and strains to more severe conditions like concussions, or spine injuries.

[00:01:45] Ayanda Charlie: We’ll look at the underlying factors that contribute to these injuries and discuss the rehabilitation process, as well as strategies to minimise their occurrence, while always keeping in mind the importance of safety and injury prevention. Welcome Dr Wever to the Sports Series Podcast.

[00:02:01] Dr Stefan Wever: Thank you Ayanda, for having me on this podcast.

[00:02:04] Ayanda Charlie: So before we begin, would you like to introduce yourself and, and share briefly about the work that you do, please?

[00:02:10] Dr Stefan Wever: Yes. I'm currently based at Mediclinic Vergelegen, Somerset West, and uh, my journey began with a fascination for the musculoskeletal system. Uh, this curiosity led me to pursue my medical degree and, um, subsequently I specialized and even went abroad to learn more about trauma, low limb and sports, foot and ankle, uh, procedures.

[00:02:38] Dr Stefan Wever: Throughout my career, I've really had the privilege of treating a wide range of conditions around the foot and ankle. And I must say my aim is really to help individuals regain their mobility, overcome obstacles, and really enhance their quality of life.

[00:02:54] Ayanda Charlie: Hmm. And you're speaking to us as an athlete yourself I understand.

[00:02:59] Dr Stefan Wever: [00:03:00] Yes, I must say between work and family, which is really important to me, um, I do need time to get out and clear my head, and I must say I find the mountains and, and cycling really interesting and, and a good way to, to clear your mind again.

[00:03:18] Ayanda Charlie: Mm mm Indeed it is especially nature, right? Yeah. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, a study from the US Department of Health and Human Services showed that the most prevalent activity related to injury varied by age group. So for the group age 25 and older, recreational sport, including racket, sports, golf, bowling, hunting, fishing, hiking, and other leisure sports, basketball.

[00:03:45] Ayanda Charlie: Pedal cycling and water sports were in the top five list of activities related to injury. Is this similar in South Africa? I know it's a big list.

[00:03:54] Dr Stefan Wever: Yeah. I wanted to say, wow, that's quite a list. Um, that's like everything exactly. [00:04:00] But uh, yes, we are privileged to live in a country where we can participate in outdoor activities all year round.

[00:04:07] Dr Stefan Wever: And I most definitely see similar mechanisms of injury in my practice. Um, Up to 30% of emergency department visits are related to ankle injuries, and of these, sprains are the most common. But I really see a variety of injuries from fractures to low ankle sprains, as well as syndesmosis injuries, otherwise called high ankle sprains, and then various foot fractures, most obviously related to recreational sport.

[00:04:37] Dr Stefan Wever: But, uh, a new mechanism of injury that's been coming out recently is what I call load shedding related injuries. And, and that's often patients that fall in the dark. Mm-hmm. Wow. And, um, I, I probably see one a week related to that.

[00:04:54] Ayanda Charlie: Wow. That's, that's quite a uniquely South African medical phenomenon, isn't it?

[00:04:59] Ayanda Charlie: There, it's, [00:05:00] there's also the idea of overuse injuries that seem to be common in younger athletes. The general for athletic training says that overuse injuries account for approximately 50% of all sports related injuries in pediatric athletes. If these injuries are caused by repetitive motion and inadequate risk periods, what can be done to guard against them? Uh,

[00:05:22] Dr Stefan Wever: yes, Ayanda, I definitely see similar, uh, a similar trend, and I believe it's related to the more competitive element that, um, intervenes, especially in schools and younger players. Uh, they tend to train harder and longer and also all year round and as an undesirable, but probably an inevitable consequence, they will be prone to more injuries. And I think to really understand pediatric injuries, you need some insight into the peculiarialities of their growing bone and [00:06:00] muscle systems. Um, we know that in children tendons and ligaments are relatively stronger than the growth plate. [00:06:07] Dr Stefan Wever: And for those that don't know, the growth plate is the part of the bone where you grow in length. Um, and what I, what one would see during growth spurts is that the bone relatively grows faster than the muscle and tendons can keep up and then, They really develop this imbalance between strength and flexibility, making them more prone to injuries.

[00:06:29] Dr Stefan Wever: And obviously if you miss these injuries and you don't treat them in time, it can lead to leg length discrepancies and other angular deformities, which is essentially just means a short leg or a bent leg. Um, and then little bit to the side, but children also tend to produce more heat relative to their body mass.

[00:06:51] Dr Stefan Wever: Um, and they sweat relatively less and also tend to drink less water than adults and this combination then predisposes them to [00:07:00] heat exhaustion, which also puts your muscles and tendons at risk.

[00:07:05] Ayanda Charlie: Wow, that's, that's so much to consider and to keep in mind, and I'm so glad you mentioned, you know, the idea of treating something in time because that in time is quite an elusive concept. At which point, especially as I get older and, you know, aches and pains just kind of seem to, um, emerge from, uh, parts of my body on a daily basis.

[00:07:27] Ayanda Charlie: Yeah. You know, at which point should I pay attention to pain and what level of severity should, should scare me and should I look out for?

[00:07:35] Dr Stefan Wever: Yeah, that's a really good question. And it's obviously easy when you had an acute injury. And most patients would seek medical advice, but for those lingering and more subtle pain, um, knowing when to seek medical care can be complicated.

[00:07:53] Dr Stefan Wever: So in general, I would recommend to see your GP or a specialist when an injury still hurts after resting it [00:08:00] or if it feels better until you exercise again. Um, and then it returns. Mm-hmm.

[00:08:05] Ayanda Charlie: Mm-hmm. That makes sense. And I'm sure, you know, stretching daily might help as well. I try to to do that myself.

[00:08:13] Dr Stefan Wever: Yeah. Um, we know as you grow older you tend to stiffen up and there's a lot of diseases such as diabetes that's linked to that process happening faster. So definitely daily stretches and, and generally just being more active will, um, prevent injuries from occurring. Mm mm

[00:08:36] Ayanda Charlie: Now, doctor, there are various disciplines that are linked to sports medicine, so how does someone know whether they should see a doctor or a surgeon, or a biokineticist or a physiotherapist or another specialist?

[00:08:49] Dr Stefan Wever: I must say, having been a patient myself, it, you can get confused and um, and struggle to find the right person, but I would say if you had [00:09:00] an injury and are concerned it's better to see your GP or a sports physician. I. We can then recommend a specialist, um, regarding physiotherapy and biokinetics. Um, there's an interesting study that was published that highlighted the role of each and essentially physiotherapists are involved in the immediate

[00:09:20] Dr Stefan Wever: Care after an injury or surgery. So it's also called the acute and subacute phase. They then can also play a role in the final phase of rehabilitation or what's called the return to sport, whereas, uh, biokineticists are generally only involved in the final phase of rehabilitation.

[00:09:41] Ayanda Charlie: Mm. And, and when someone comes to you, how do you determine the severity of a sports injury? Like what tools and techniques do you use for diagnosis and during the evaluation process?

[00:09:54] Dr Stefan Wever: I think it's, it's always important to really understand the nature of the injury, so I often [00:10:00] spend time in getting the patient or the athlete to explain to me exactly how they injured, how their foot or their knee or, you know, body part twisted.

[00:10:11] Dr Stefan Wever: Um, and then I try and elicit how it affects their individual ability to function. Uh, I would say I use a combination of detailed questions and a focused clinical examination to really pinpoint the source of pain. Um, but despite this, I still often need to get further investigations such as x-rays or an ultrasound and sometimes an MRI scan.

[00:10:35] Dr Stefan Wever: Um, and then we've got various tools such as cortisone injections that can be helpful to diagnose and even treat conditions, um, around the body but that's it. You know, sometimes you really have to examine the patient again at different periods to really pinpoint, um, the cause.

[00:10:57] Ayanda Charlie: And I mean, doctor surgical [00:11:00] interventions are scary, right? And so I'm sure a lot of people would want to know, yeah. You know, what their conservative options are right Before they get a surgical intervention from someone like you, for instance. Yes. How do you determine, right, which approach is suitable?

[00:11:14] Dr Stefan Wever: So I would say it really depends on the injury, but um, in general, stable injuries can be treated with a conservative approach.

[00:11:23] Dr Stefan Wever: Um, the focus has shifted over the last decades to what's called functional rehabilitation and what this really means is that, uh, you start with early weight bearing while you protect the injured ligament. And we know that functional rehabilitation has been linked to better ligament healing as well as faster recovery.

[00:11:45] Dr Stefan Wever: And lower re-injury rates. But coming back to the patient, I believe that you always need to build up a relationship with a patient and that you can only do over a period of time. So I would always try and treat injuries [00:12:00] conservatively, even if I think they will eventually need surgery. Um, that said there is obviously certain exceptions and that would be, you know, injuries to cartilage or bone.

[00:12:12] Dr Stefan Wever: Um, and then persistent symptoms despite having tried the conservative root. And you know that in that situation, that surgery is, uh, the next step.

[00:12:21] Ayanda Charlie: Are there any specific preventative measures or training techniques that athletes can incorporate to reduce the risk of injuries? You know, things like proper conditioning, warmup routines, can those make a real dent in preventative, uh, measures?

[00:12:36] Dr Stefan Wever: So, yes, Ayanda, I agree. There's been much research into injury prevention. Uh, many factors play a role from behavior age. Training techniques, gear, even genetic factors. And I think this is where there is value in consulting a professional coach, even if you are not a professional athlete, and for example, static [00:13:00] stretching for more than 60 seconds per muscle group has been linked to a decline in strength and power of performances.

[00:13:08] Dr Stefan Wever: Whereas stretching less than 60 seconds seem to lower the risk of subsequent muscle or tendon injuries without affecting strength and power. And currently there seems to be evidence to support the widespread use of what's called neuromuscular training in team sports and warmup programs and they've shown that this process reduces risk of injury by over 35%.

[00:13:38] Dr Stefan Wever: Um, and for those again that don't know, neuromuscular training is a type of training that enhances the reaction and communication between your nerves and muscles. I think that's very important and, and not to forget overtraining is bad. Um, it causes fatigue and injuries and remember, you as an athlete myself, you’re never [00:14:00] isolated, um, in just training, um, stress, lack of sleep, they can all affect and cause injuries.

[00:14:08] Dr Stefan Wever: And the very basis of a healthy athlete, I think is a balanced whole diet, enough rest and managing your stress levels. And I think this is often the hardest part.

[00:14:20] Ayanda Charlie: And what, what about protective gear, like helmets or gum guards? What gear do you recommend for which sports specifically? And um, is this an effective way to prevent injury?

[00:14:31] Dr Stefan Wever: So yes, I think protective care does play a role in injury prevention, however, there's other important factors, as I've just mentioned, with neuromuscular training as well as rule modification, and interesting, in 2012, the South African Rugby Union approved a new set of scrum laws for amateur rugby. This was based on research that showed that 33% of catastrophic spinal cord injuries happened [00:15:00] during the engagement phase or the collapse of a scrum.

[00:15:03] Dr Stefan Wever: And by just changing the rule, they can then aim to prevent these catastrophic injuries from happening. So where headgear again, for example, in cycling, there's a technology called the MIPS technology. Um, they've really shown decrease in concussions and head injuries. Um, but interesting, contrary to this, the use of soft shell headgear in rugby remain low and whether it really makes a difference in head injury is still unclear.

[00:15:34] Dr Stefan Wever: So I think the judge is still out there in many instances, but to remember that there's many factors that play, play a role.

[00:15:40] Ayanda Charlie: Mm-hmm. And so I guess it, it makes sense to just do everything you can to prevent injury. Yeah. Yes. And let's talk about the longstanding injuries, right? The ones that have already happened, you've made peace with them.

[00:15:51] Ayanda Charlie: We all know a parent or an uncle who has that one kind of hip or knee or foot injury that they ignored and, [00:16:00] you know, is now turning into kind of a, a, a gentle limp. Right. At which point is it too late to, to address those injuries?

[00:16:08] Dr Stefan Wever: Ayanda I would say the simple answer is that it's never too late to rehabilitate an injury.

[00:16:14] Dr Stefan Wever: Uh, certain injuries can often improve with rehabilitation, such as chronic ankle instability or recurrent sprains, and there's a term called prehabilitation, which has become more important and what this essentially means is that doing focused physiotherapy exercises before surgery will help enhance your cardiovascular capacity and even help retain your muscle mass.

[00:16:40] Dr Stefan Wever: So even if you end up requiring surgery, rehabilitation will speed up the postoperative recovery time. And I think it's, again, just important to recognize that nutritional optimization, psychological wellbeing, also play an important role in this process.

[00:16:59] Ayanda Charlie: Mm-hmm. Because, [00:17:00] That post-op time, you know, is quite touch and go. Right?

[00:17:04] Ayanda Charlie: Like you've mentioned the psychological potential risks, there's also the aspect of taking painkillers, right? Post-surgery. Yes. How, how would you go about prescribing these and is there a risk of becoming dependent on painkillers?

[00:17:19] Dr Stefan Wever: So again, yes, there's, there's real risks to taking these medications.

[00:17:25] Dr Stefan Wever: I would say in the acute recovery phase, I prescribe enough painkillers combining different classes of otherwise called analgesia, but only for a short period, and you often have to weigh up the side effects of these medication versus the risk of what's called chronic pain syndrome. Um, but generally taking analgesia as prescribed for short periods is safe.

[00:17:51] Dr Stefan Wever: Um, and then I would say analgesia should be used as part of the rehabilitation for an injury, but not to push the [00:18:00] boundaries of sporting participation. And, uh, there are obviously real risks with using them inappropriately which includes dependency as you've mentioned, but also risk of further injury to muscles and ligaments and even kidney damage.

[00:18:16] Dr Stefan Wever: So, I always tell my patients, pain is your body's way of saying that something is wrong and you have to listen to it.

[00:18:26] Ayanda Charlie: We’ll be back with Dr Wever shortly! But first, we wanted to share the details of the Mediclinic 24/7 Helpline. You can call the number +27 86 023 3333. The 24/7 Helpline is no longer only for medical enquiries but can even go as far as assisting you with making a booking for the doctor.

[00:18:42] Ayanda Charlie: Back to you, Dr. Wever. And of course, doctor, I mean, we all know people who would, would, would go the opposite extreme and, and kind of not take painkillers and just kind of, you know, firm [00:19:00] the pain as the kids say. Yes. What do you say to to people like that?

[00:19:05] Dr Stefan Wever: So, again, What I've found over my career is that people definitely have different pain thresholds, and often the patients that say, I've got a high pain threshold, they really have a low pain threshold. So it's, you know it and that's where the psychological treatment comes in again because you do get people that's generally more prone to taking medications versus patients that really are averse to that or had previous bad experiences.

[00:19:33] Dr Stefan Wever: But, um, again, when I examine the patients, I often look at their face while I examine them to, and the face can't lie and really it is a balance. You, you shouldn't overdo it, but pain medication is there for a reason. That's why I reiterate that if it's an acute injury, if it's part of a prescribed program by your doctor, then it's better to take it because chronic pain really [00:20:00] affects your psychological wellbeing and can cause depression and other problems, so.

[00:20:07] Ayanda Charlie: So doctor, with full contact sports like rugby, boxing, wrestling, or even soccer, there's understandably a greater risk of more severe injury. I know that the Chris Berger Petro Jackson Players Fund was set up to support seriously injured rugby players so that when a South African rugby players sustains a life changing injury to the head, neck, or spine, the fund can partner with the player and their family on the journey of adapting to a new normal.

[00:20:32] Ayanda Charlie: Right. So to speak. Do you know of any other support for, for, for, for those with this kind of injury? And, and what advice would you give to anyone in that situation? Um, and to their families and loved ones?

[00:20:44] Dr Stefan Wever: Yes. Ayanda this, uh, is truly a tough topic. Uh, spinal cord injuries are devastating. There has been a major drive to accelerate emergency care, to treat these injuries early, thus preventing more extensive damage to the [00:21:00] spinal cord.

[00:21:01] Dr Stefan Wever: But I think the hardest part is often the time following the acute rehabilitation, and this is when patients need to adapt at home, school or work and mourning is very normal and real as described in the stages of grief by Cupler and Ross, namely denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and eventually acceptance.

[00:21:25] Dr Stefan Wever: And I think the keys to. Uh, really allow the patient to go through these stages, um, by being surrounded by family, friends, and other support such as psychologists and even the church to help them walk through this journey. Um, and, and ultimately only time can heal but it's so important to, to have that social support structure, um, not even for these injuries, but for any injury, whether it's a foot or a hand or a shoulder. You just need that support.

[00:21:58] Ayanda Charlie: Indeed. You're right about that. [00:22:00] And I'm so glad you brought up other kinds of injuries. 'cause you know, some injuries may not be as severe, but it can be a big adjustment to not be able to play the sports, right, or do the exercise. Yes. That was so much a part of your lifestyle, right?

[00:22:12] Ayanda Charlie: During that rehabilitation period, and maybe even afterwards. Right? So the psychological factors like fear of re-injury or a lack of confidence, I'm sure those can significantly impact an athlete's ability to fully recover and return to sports following an injury. I know in another episode about mental health In sports, we spoke about the impact that an injury can have on one's mental health, but I would love to hear what your thoughts are like psychological support, um, and sports psychology interventions that can play a crucial role in the rehabilitation process.

[00:22:45] Ayanda Charlie: What support is needed and how can someone take care of their mental health when they're unable to engage in their usual exercise regime?

[00:22:53] Dr Stefan Wever: Yes, I agree. Um, with what you say and, and interesting enough, I published an article [00:23:00] last year that looked at the return to playtime in elite rugby players who had a high ankle sprain.

[00:23:07] Dr Stefan Wever: And remember these are players that have all the support that you can in terms of, uh, psychological, uh, physiotherapy and time. And even in these players, they took, some of them, took a very long time to return to sports again. So I always explain to my patients that most injuries can take up to one year to reach maximal improvement.

[00:23:32] Dr Stefan Wever: Because false expectations often cause unnecessary anxiety. So I would often spend time to make sure that I really know what my patient's expectations are, and that really lines up with what I know the, uh, recovery period will involve. That said, obviously evidence show that exercise stimulates endorphins.

[00:23:54] Dr Stefan Wever: Which is your brain's feel good neurotransmitter. And for this reason, I always attempt [00:24:00] to allow some form of activity. So in certain overuse activities, I would rather recommend non-impact, um, sports such as swimming and cycling and after surgery, I normally break the recovery period up into two week intervals so that the patient can rather focus on a shorter period instead of having this one year recovery in front of them.

[00:24:23] Dr Stefan Wever: So there's a lot of motivation and really, um, empathy and, and, an ongoing relationship involved when you treat patients.

[00:24:32] Ayanda Charlie: Hmm. And what role does age play in the recovery process, depending on, you know, the recovery time for an older athlete compared to a younger one. You know, your body not being able to do what it used to do.

[00:24:47] Dr Stefan Wever: Yes, Ayanda as I get older. That, uh, what is old is constantly changing, and I often have patients that's in their deep eighties and they still talk about older [00:25:00] patients. So really I think the relationship between age and physiological function is really poorly defined. And even in studies, they haven't really found physiological markers.

[00:25:15] Dr Stefan Wever: That can be used to reliably predict age. So that really comes back to the wow to the saying that says you're as old as you feel. Um, but I think that said, inactivity seems to be the biggest factor to affect aging. And in my personal experience, age does not play as much a factor as the patient's baseline level of activity.

[00:25:37] Dr Stefan Wever: So, uh, you can actually reverse your physiological age, you know, if you've, at one point, you know, if you've had bad habits and smoking and you stop and you start eating well and you sleep enough, you can actually reverse that, you know, physiological aging. And I think that's what we, what's so poorly understood and what's getting more and more, [00:26:00] um, real is the effect of, of your psychosocial wellbeing.

[00:26:04] Dr Stefan Wever: And, um, I mean, I had a patient the other day, he’s 79 years old. He's a long distance swim. He does the, the freedom Swim from Robben Island and he's now just started picking up a long distance running. He wants to start kite surfing. So, you know, and it's incredible. You look at this guy and he's, you know, if, if he didn't tell me his age, he really looks 20 years younger than what his, chronological ages.

[00:26:31] Dr Stefan Wever: And interestingly enough, I read a study the other day that looked at master athletes participating in competitions and they showed no difference in risk of injury compared to young athletes irrespective of their age or athletic performance. So this again, highlights how important it is to really just stay active.

[00:26:52] Ayanda Charlie: Yeah. Yeah. I, I mean, I've heard about the phenomenon of your internal kind of body's age compared to your chronological age and [00:27:00] how there can be a real difference depending on your lifestyle. Yes. Um, I'm looking forward to seeing more research on that. And finally, Dr. Wever, are there any emerging trends or advancements.

[00:27:10] Ayanda Charlie: In sports injury management and even rehabilitation that you find particularly exciting or promising?

[00:27:16] Dr Stefan Wever: Uh, so being a surgeon, my interest will always be in the surgical advances in sports medicine and how that can enhance recovery. We know over the last decade there's been incredible advances in various fields including what's called minimal invasive surgery, and what this involve is small incisions in order to surgically correct various.

[00:27:39] Dr Stefan Wever: Foot and ankle problems. Uh, we use small instruments to make very small bone cuts, which is also called osteotomies. The benefits of this include less pain, faster recovery, and less wound problems. And some examples that I can give you in achilles tendon ruptures. [00:28:00] Uh, we can now repair them through very small incisions, which lower the risk of wound problems.

[00:28:05] Dr Stefan Wever: Also, keyhole surgery in hip, knee, and ankle conditions has been, uh, linked to shorter hospital stay and lower pain scores. And for those that don't know, keyhole surgery involves using small fiber optic lenses and instruments to work inside of joints. And then again, many patients will mention it, but robotic surgery, especially knee replacements, has resulted in improved outcomes and accuracy.

[00:28:34] Dr Stefan Wever: So yes, there's many advances, but also remember, unfortunately there are novel treatment options, which are very expensive and has not been shown to be superior over standard care. So for this reason, I think it's important to speak to your specialist before embarking on, um, any form of treatment.

[00:28:53] Ayanda Charlie: What would you say are the top three things to keep in mind? If you remember nothing else from this interview. Um, as the listener [00:29:00] to keep in mind as maybe daily practices, um, on the preventative side?

[00:29:04] Dr Stefan Wever: So I would say sleep enough, eat healthy and stay active. And if you do this, you've got the best chance of having a long life with good quality. And then listen to your body if you have pain and it doesn't go away with rest.

[00:29:23] Dr Stefan Wever: Rather seek medical attention early than sitting with, uh, anxiety and questions and fear, which stop you from being active.

[00:29:33] Ayanda Charlie: Dr Wever, thank you so much for being with us today. You've shared some truly valuable insights into the world of sports injuries and rehabilitation, and I have no doubt it will empower our listeners to navigate their own healing journey or even support others in theirs.

[00:29:48] Dr Stefan Wever: Thank you so much again for having me and, and having this chat.

[00:29:53] Ayanda Charlie: Whether you're an athlete aiming to get back in the game, a coach looking to better understand your athletes’ needs, or simply someone who appreciates the resilience of the human spirit, it’s so important to remember that health and well-being should always be a priority.

[00:30:07] Ayanda Charlie: Take the time to properly warm up, condition your body, and listen to its signals. And if an injury occurs, seek professional help and follow a structured rehabilitation programme tailored to your specific needs. Thank you again to Dr Stefan Wever for being with me today. And to all of you who joined me in listening to this episode of The Sports Series podcast, powered by Mediclinic.

[00:30:31] Ayanda Charlie: If you haven’t yet done so, subscribe to our podcast channel and sign up for the Mediclinic Prime newsletter, packed with great health articles; a bi-weekly series of newsletters focused on young families – the link is in the show notes too. Until next time.