Sports injuries are more common than you’d think. From cartilage injuries and fractures to concussions and groin strains, athletes sustain all kinds of injuries, both on and off the field. While injuries are a part of playing sports, they can be avoided. Let’s take a look at how you can prevent a sports injury in detail.
Warm Up and Stretch
If you aren’t warming up and doing simple stretches pre-workout or before a practice session, the chances of sustaining an injury are significantly higher. As obvious as this tip may sound, many athletes don’t engage in sufficient warm-up exercises before a training session and dive straight into rigorous workouts. This is detrimental to their health and puts them at a greater risk of injury.
Each practice session should start with a few warm-up exercises. This allows you to prepare your body for training by increasing your blood circulation and heart rate. As a result, your muscles are prepared to endure more rigorous exercises and you’re less likely to injure yourself while practicing.
Dedicate at least 10 minutes to warming up with gentle stretches and cardiovascular exercises. Use specific movements similar to the ones you’ll be using during your workout but at a lower intensity to prepare your muscles. This will also improve muscle elasticity and make it easier for you to stretch. You should also incorporate static stretches into your pre-workout warm-up to enhance your range of motion.
Rest and Recover
Despite preventive measures, you may still pull a muscle or sustain a different injury. Even if the symptoms seem to be mild, don’t overexert yourself. Instead, call it a day and take a break until you’ve fully healed.
Rest is a crucial part of recovery. The soreness or pain you’re experiencing won’t go away unless you give your body the time it needs to heal. Moreover, you should schedule rest days if you’re following a particularly rigorous training program in order to avoid an injury due to overexertion.
Listen to your body. Sometimes, injuries occur because athletes engage in strenuous training sessions without resting enough or despite experiencing mild discomfort.
Schedule a Physical Exam Before You Compete
Finally, make sure you get a physical evaluation before any big event where you’re participating competitively. This includes big games, marathons, or tournaments where you’re stepping up the intensity of your physical activity. An evaluation makes you fully aware of your body’s capabilities and vulnerabilities and allows you to adjust your workouts, warm-ups, or style of play if you need to. Your care plan may require regular physical therapy sessions to pinpoint any issues you may not have noticed and discuss strategies to improve your fitness level.
Houston Physicians’ Hospital has a team of highly specialized orthopedists who offer extensive physical therapy services and sports medicine services. Get in touch with our staff today for more details.
We also provide general surgery, joint pain treatments, and spine solutions.