Playing sports requires dedication, training, and taking care of your body to prevent injuries. Sports injuries can have a long-term impact on your health and performance, and that’s why you should manage your workouts, sports play, and health properly.
Most Common Sports Injuries and Their Causes
The most common sports injuries professional athletes and weekend warriors experience include:
- Ankle sprains
- Shoulder dislocations
- Knee sprains
- Lower back injuries
- Hamstring strains
These injuries are often the result of:
- Inaccurate or faulty training methods
- Not wearing the appropriate protective gear
- Poor health
- Inadequate warm-up or stretching exercises before a game or training session
How to Avoid the Most Common Sports Injuries
Consult with your provider or sports medicine doctor and undergo a preseason physical. A preseason physical is a great way to find out if your body condition is fit to play. It helps evaluate if there are specific concerns in various parts of your body before you start training. A physical can keep you from injuring yourself during play by identifying if you have an issue present that needs treatment.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet ensures you have sufficient energy and strength to perform exhausting and physically demanding exercises, especially if you’re an athlete or an active person. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins on a daily basis. Keeping your system well-energized can help you avoid injuries when you’re playing.
Use proper protective gear when playing a game or exercising. Sports equipment like shoulder pads, helmets, and shoes are vital to keeping you safe. While many sports are played with protective gear, some don’t require them. For instance, basketball does not require players to use helmets, but you may choose to use knee pads and elbow pads.
It’s in your best interest to use appropriate sportswear when playing. For example, proper footwear can support your feet and correct specific foot issues you may have that can lead to injury.
Proper Training and Technique
When creating a fitness plan, consider strength training and flexibility stretches and exercises. These exercises strengthen your muscles, enable your joints to stay flexible, and reduce the risk of injury. Balance training can prevent issues such as ankle sprains.
Make sure to listen to your coach or trainer and learn the proper form and techniques when playing a sport. These tips will lessen your risk of injury and boost your performance.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
Remember the importance of stretching and warming up. Every athlete should make stretching and warming up a habit before starting to play or train. It can enhance the performance of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which can reduce your risk of injury.
Perform a mixture of static and dynamic stretches during warm-ups to help your body loosen up and adjust before playing. Static stretching includes holding a position for a while, such as toe touches. Meanwhile, dynamic stretching includes continuously moving your body during warm-ups, such as jumping jacks. Biking, jogging, or walking can also be great warm-up exercises before your training session or game begins.
After playing a game or rigorous training, take time to cool down and stretch properly, once again.
Stay Hydrated and Get Enough Rest
Stay hydrated by drinking adequate water before, during, and after playing. When you’re hydrated, you can avoid extreme heat exhaustion. Drinking adequate water can also help prevent nausea and fatigue.
Rest is also crucial, especially after performing intense exercises or playing a rigorous game. Athletes need quality sleep between events, practices, and games. If you deprive yourself of sleep and rest, you will be more susceptible to injuries.
Listen to Your Body
Listen to your body and recognize when an injury is developing. Many athletes adjust the way they play to cope with their injuries. However, ignoring the problem may only lead to a prolonged rehabilitation period and worse complications. Seek medical advice to know what you need to change or do to have a more sustainable way of playing.
Treating Sports Injuries in Austin, Texas
If you’re experiencing consistent pain and swelling in parts of your body during or after playing, it’s time to consult with a physician. Sports injuries can lead to serious damage if left untreated. Therefore, seek help and advice to avoid short-term and long-term repercussions.
At All-Star Orthopedics of Austin, we provide quality treatment for sports injuries to help you get back to your active lifestyle. You may contact us at (512) 346-4933 or fill out our online appointment request form.