Understanding Common Injuries in Inner-City Lifestyles


Living in the inner city is full of stressors that are less prevalent in suburban and regional areas. A greater degree of urban density, less commuting time to work and less natural spaces can make injuries suffered playing sport or exercising more severe. It’s a physiotherapist’s job to heal musculoskeletal injuries with massage, stretching and prescription of exercise. The most common injuries sustained in inner city areas are: overuse injuries related to cycling or walking, sporting injuries and trauma-related injuries in crowds. We discuss these injuries and the impact of an inner city lifestyle on physical health in the blog below. 

The Urban Lifestyle and Its Impact on Health 

Inner city living is characterised by greater access to luxuries and amenities, denser living quarters and less natural features. This lifestyle can cause complacence, physical strain and less motivation to exercise which are all contributing factors to physical strain and injury. Prioritising injury prevention should be considered by inner city residents in order to improve their chances of maintaining good physical health. A physiotherapist can help to prevent injury by prescribing exercise and providing tutelage in best practice when exercising. 

Common Injuries Amongst Inner City Residents 

As mentioned above, the three most-common injuries sustained by inner city residents are: strains or overuse injuries resulting from cycling or walking too much, sports injuries and trauma-related injuries related to crowds in small spaces. It is demonstrable that 13-20% of all shin injuries result from running too much. In inner city areas, running on hard concrete increases the risk of sustaining these injuries significantly. Furthermore, ankle sprains account for 40% of all sports injuries. In inner city areas, basketball and running are more accessible than sports played on a field and the hard surfaces involved in basketball and running can cause injuries more readily than playing on grass does. Finally, crowds are far more prevalent in inner city areas than elsewhere. Crowded shows, bars and functions can cause people to slip or fall and suffer trauma to their musculoskeletal system. 

Recognising the Signs and Symptoms 

If you have extended or strained yourself too far in an abnormal position, you may be worried that you have injured yourself rather seriously. Common signs and symptoms of severe injury include persistent pain (lasting more than three days after an injury), acute pain or lack of ability to move. If you experience any of these symptoms it’s best practice to consult a physiotherapist immediately no matter how insignificant you might think the injury is. 

Injury Prevention Strategies 

To prevent overuse injuries, you should perform only a moderate amount of exercise each session. Don’t overuse your body too much or you could end up sustaining an injury requiring professional treatment. To avoid sustaining an injury whilst playing sport, it’s proper to warm up before a game or training session by stretching and slowly increasing the energy you exert while playing or training. When moving among a crowd, move slowly, look where you are going and be courteous to avoid tripping, slipping, falling or being pushed over. 

When to Seek Professional Help 

If your injury, overuse strain or trauma are causing you persistent pain, acute pain or preventing you from moving, please contact your local physiotherapist to ensure treatment can be delivered and physical health restored as quickly as possible. Erko Physio has more than ten years of experience treating injuries sustained by inner city residents. If you have suffered an injury related to overuse, sustained an injury playing sport or been the victim of physical trauma following an excursion to a crowded space, please contact us today. 

Contact Erko Physio Today 

Our Alexandria physiotherapy is easily accessible from Erskineville, Newtown and Marrickville too. Trust the experts at Erko Physio to deliver a solid treatment plan and long-term recovery when you injure yourself exercising, playing sport or during a social event.