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)