By their very nature, sports are physically demanding and require a great deal of stamina. If you’ve ever been involved in sports, you may be very familiar with your own susceptibility to injuries.
However, just because your sport is risky doesn’t mean you should stop playing it. Having adequate knowledge of preventive strategies and first-aid techniques is key to staying on top of your game.
Here’s how you can minimize your risk of injury and how you can treat one, should you wind up getting hurt during your sports game.
Preventing a Sports Injury
To make the most out of your athletic endeavor, consider these tips for preventing any type of sports injury:
Warming up dilates your blood vessels and ensures your muscles have an adequate oxygen supply before physical activity. It’s called warming up because it revs up your cardiovascular system, promotes blood flow to your muscles, and increases their temperature, thereby enhancing their flexibility and elasticity. Warming up ultimately helps reduce muscle soreness and lowers your risk of injury.
2.) Learn proper movement techniques.
Proper movement technique used to merely involve learning how to play the sport correctly and efficiently, but it has now become a way of preventing injury. With proper biomechanics — the application of proper movement – you can ensure that you’re using the right muscle groups to support your movement and keep you from getting injured.
3.) Cool down.
Cooling down is just as crucial for the prevention of injury as warming up. Stopping an activity without cooling down can lead to a buildup of toxic substances and lactic acid, which are culprits in muscular pain and stiffness the day after.
The purpose of cooling down is to gradually decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. Cooldown exercises could take twice as long as warm-up exercises.
4.) Wear the right shoes.
Almost every sport and most exercises require you to be on your feet. Wearing comfortable and supportive shoes — appropriate ones for your sport — helps prevent injury.
5.) Get enough rest.
Be kind to your body and avoid overworking it. Your muscles can get fatigued, and when this happens, they are more susceptible to injury.
Treating a Sports Injury
If you sustained an injury, you can recognize it by its symptoms, such as pain, reduced mobility, and swelling. Do not attempt to continue with the activity if you feel even just the slightest pain and discomfort.
The R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method is usually the first-line treatment for sports injuries: it is effective at alleviating pain and swelling, promoting flexibility and healing, and preventing further injury. The R.I.C.E. method can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If your symptoms do not subside in a week, the best thing to do is to see a sports medicine doctor, who has specialized training in diagnosing, treating, and preventing sports injuries.
Sports Injury Treatment in Austin, TX
If you sustained a sports injury, visit us at All-Star Orthopedics for an evaluation and prompt treatment. We have a board-certified, fellowship-trained sports medicine doctor—Dr. Carolyn Hyde, MD.—who has helped thousands of patients recover from sports injuries and get back in the game. You can trust us to help you as well!
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hyde, call our clinic at (512) 346-4933, or you may use our online appointment request form.