Sports injuries can be caused by overuse, trauma or when the body is placed under more pressure than it can cope with. Sports injuries are divided into two categories: acute and chronic. By following the right safety measures and using protective equipment you may be able to avoid or minimise sports injuries. Let’s take a more in-depth look at how to prevent sports injuries.
Different Types Of Sports Injuries
Injuries that are sustained suddenly or without warning are called acute injuries. A sprained ankle is an example of an acute injury.
Injuries that occur because of an overworked muscle or joint are called chronic injuries. Chronic injuries are generally the result of poor form, or overtraining, and can be circumvented by learning the correct technique. It can be very disappointing for an athlete who is trying to up their game and get in more fitness time, only to overwork the body and cause an injury.
Often athletes will ignore an ache or pain, in the belief that they need to work through the discomfort or to be part of the team, only to cause greater harm to themselves.
Any sports injury should be investigated by a professional because it could be worse than you suspect, and getting timeous treatment can make a big difference to your recovery.
How To Prevent Sports Injuries?
Establishing good fitness habits can help in sports injury prevention. Some of the most common causes of injuries include age, tiredness, not recovering from a previous injury, over-training or not planning a session properly.
Ease your body into exercise by doing the appropriate warm-up exercises. You can do this by slowly running through the motions you perform when doing your sport. Stretch your muscles slowly and deeply.
Invest In The Right Equipment
Having the right equipment is essential for any sport. Invest in high-quality footwear that gives you enough support and cushioning. If necessary and if playing contact sports, make sure you have the relevant helmets, headgear, knee and elbow pads and mouthguard.
If you are aware of a weak or vulnerable spot in your body, make sure you tape or bandage it up before you start playing sport.
This means drinking enough fluids before, during and after your sport. Dehydration can lead to cramping of the muscles as well as fatigue, which can lead to sports injuries. You should also take care not to exercise during the hottest times of the day, which are generally between 11 am and 3 pm, as this is when you will lose the most hydration.
Make Sure The Environment Is Safe
You can avoid a lot of sports injuries simply by making sure that your environment is safe enough. This means not training on wet or slippery floors, and making sure there’s no broken glass or dangerous materials on the playing surface. The best way to ensure this is to inspect the environment before a match or training session.
This also means playing a safe game where all the players are following the rules and there is supervision. Sometimes a little common sense is required for sports injury prevention.
Train Smart; Train Consistently
It’s good practice to try and maintain a level of fitness throughout your season. Bouts of overtraining can lead to over-use while under-training can result in loss of fitness and strained muscles when you try to resume.
Training consistently also means working equally on strength, flexibility, speed, coordination and power, regardless of the sport you are playing. All of these competencies are required to maintain optimal fitness and in sports injury prevention.
Increase The Intensity Gradually
Try not to overdo it. If you want to improve, you need to set a realistic and incremental schedule to get there. Know what your limits are and when you should slow down. Increase the duration of your workouts gradually too. Working with a physiotherapist can help you to find this medium.
Another benefit to professional intervention is the ability to plan fitness and training properly. That means pacing fitness over the course of the season correctly so that you have time to build your strength. It also means including the right skills and conditioning methods in your plan.
Enlist The Help Of A Physiotherapist
Working with a physiotherapist ensures that you can get your technique correct. Performing your sport with the right technique can boost your sports injury prevention strategy multifold, and can save you a lot of pain and trouble in the future.
Don’t Train With An Injury Without Professional Guidance
If you know you have an injury it’s important that you have sufficient time to heal and recover. Training can make an existing injury worse, so you need the relevant professional intervention to make sure that you don’t worsen it.
Sports injuries are part and parcel of staying fit and training competitively, but following a good sports injury prevention plan can help to minimise them. Always seek medical advice with sports injuries and make sure you get the appropriate treatment.
For more personalised help with how to prevent sports injuries please contact us for an appointment: (02) 9159 6903.