Top 10 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries

Top 10 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries

Runners, joggers, baseball players, golfers, dancers, and gymnasts are all prone to sports injuries; however, sports injuries are not limited to athletes – anyone may obtain a sports injury. But, for those who frequently participate in physically demanding activities, it can be very frustrating to get injured.

Sports injuries are often a combination of cartilage, ligament, tendon, and muscle damage – whether it be a ligament tear or partial tear or a sprain. Don’t let the pain from the injury persist; the longer you wait to receive help, the more damage you may cause to the injured area and the longer it will take for you to get back to the sport you love. Here are the top ten tips for preventing sports injuries.

Always Warm Up

A warm-up routine prepares your body for exercise by gradually increasing your heart rate and warming up your muscles.

Always Cool Down

It is just as important to cool down after a game and get plenty of rest.  Rest helps to avoid fatigue and also increase mental and physical alertness. Lack of sleep may predispose you to injury.

Make Sure to Stretch

Stretching is important before any sport or physical activity.  A combination of both static and dynamic stretches during warm ups will help loosen the muscles. It can be detrimental to stretch cold muscles.  Make sure you do a light warm up before stretching before and after exercise. This can be as simple as jogging in place.

Use Proper Technique

Consult with coaches or other experienced players to ensure you are using proper technique in your sport or exercise of choice.

Use Proper Sports Equipment

Wear and use properly fitting/sized sports equipment. This includes everything from your shoes, to your baseball glove, to your safety helmet.

Don’t Overtrain

Increase your activity level gradually over time. If you are learning a new technique today, don’t overwork yourself trying to become an expert in a day. Instead of pushing yourself too hard in one day, train for shorter periods of time over multiple days.

Balanced Training

Make sure you include cardio, strength training and stretching exercises in your weekly training routine. Changing up your routine can help minimize overuse injuries. You want to make sure to avoid continuously putting stress on the same joints

Good Nutrition

Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet. You want to eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins.  Having a well-nourished body is important during physical activity.

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate

Drink plenty of water before, during and after physical activity. Hydration is even more important on hot and humid days.  If exercising strenuously, liquids with electrolytes can be beneficial.  However, carbonated, sugary and alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

Get a Pre-Season Exam

A pre-season exam is a great preventative measure to take before the start of your season.

If you are suffering from a sports injury, we can help! Call Parker Sports Medicine and Orthopedics today. 806-350-BONE(2663)

4 Things Young Athletes Need to Watch Out For

4 Things Young Athletes Need to Watch Out For

While participating in sports has a number of benefits for young athletes, it also has its hazards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that over 2.6 million children 19 and under end up being treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports injuries. Such injuries are by far the greatest type of musculoskeletal injuries that require treatment.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are a very common type of sports injury. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, a band of tissue that connects bones to a joint; while a strain involves muscles and/or tendons. A strain involving a muscle is sometimes called a “pulled muscle.” Sprains and strains are common injuries in almost any sport.

ACL Injuries

An ACL injury is a type of sprain, affecting the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the most commonly injured ligament in the knee. The ACL injury has three grades:

  • Grade I is the least severe. The ligament is stretched but not torn, and there is only a little tenderness and swelling. The knee does not feel unstable or give out when being used.
  • In Grade II, the ligament is partially torn, and there is moderate swelling and tenderness. The knee may give out when being used.
  • A Grade III injury is the most severe. The ligament is completely torn or ruptured, but there is surprisingly little pain. The amount of swelling can vary from a little to a lot. The ligament cannot control the knee, so it will feel unstable and give out.

A torn ACL of any grade is caused by sudden twisting of the knee. Sudden changes in direction while running or falling on one’s knee can also cause a torn ACL.

Girls are more susceptible to torn ACLs than are boys, and basketball players, soccer players and football players are particularly vulnerable.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

A young athlete can also be prone to repetitive motion injuries like stress fractures or tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon). This type of sports injury is caused by overuse of the affected muscle, bone and/or tendon. About 50 percent of all sports injuries treated by doctors are repetitive motion injuries. Tendinitis and bursitis (inflammation of a bursa) are the most common types. Repetitive motion injuries are most common in the knees, elbows, shoulders and heels.

Prevention

Given that injury can impair athletic performance or even keep a player out of action for weeks at a time, prevention is crucial:

  • Children should undergo a physical before starting a sport in order to catch potential problems
  • Young athletes should warm up before playing, and condition their bodies well before the sports season
  • A sports team or club should have appropriate and well-maintained equipment
  • Everybody involved should know and abide by the rules

If your young athlete has suffered a sports injury, you can find help at our office. Call 806.350.BONE (2663) to book a consultation.