Tips to Avoid Sports Injuries
Being active is an important factor of our lives. It can help our health, wellbeing, and productivity. Taking part in sports is a fun way to become more active and we can all gain a lot when we find one (or several!) that we enjoy.
Being active should be a daily occurrence, or at the least, we should be doing something that gets our heart rate up and muscles moving at few times a week. But this is less likely, or impossible, if injuries come into play. Subsequently, reducing your risk of sustaining an injury is just as important as being active.
There are many ways to avoid sports injuries, and it is vital to be aware of them. At the Muscle Joint Bone, we can support you as you put them into practice so that you can continue doing what you love and reap the rewards. Our therapists can also assist you if you do suffer an injury to get you back on the field as soon as possible.
Six Ways To Avoid Sports Injuries
Every time you reach for your activewear (to exercise in, not just have lunch on the couch in – come on, we’ve all done it), make sure you keep in mind steps you can take for injury prevention. This can include the following tips:
1. Visit A Healthcare Professional Before You Get Started
It seems logical to think that beginning a sport will get us fit and healthy. However, starting from scratch and launching in headfirst is a perfect set up for injuries.
Having had an injury or illness in the past can lead to weaknesses, chronic issues, or flareups that can cause or be worsened by further injury. Moreover, going from a state of inactivity without proper care or preparation in terms of strength, fitness, flexibility, and mobility can lead to all sorts of problems.
Visiting a physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor, or podiatrist before starting a new sport can be significantly beneficial in the long run, particularly if it’s your first venture into exercise after a considerable length of time, or if this is a different type of sport for you. Our therapists can assess areas that may need attention or identify and treat any problems.
2. Incorporate Variety
Finding a sport that you love is fantastic but be wary of sticking to the same form of activity week in, week out. Using the same muscles and joints means they receive ongoing stress that can lead to damage. Change up what you do each week to ensure your body is being used more evenly. This also enables different areas to be strengthened and stretched, rather than neglecting some and focusing on others.
3. Warm Up, Cool Down, And Rest
Running late to netball practise? Got to get back to the kids after your cricket match? Don’t be tempted to skip stretching and letting your body accommodate the differing states of activity. Your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, muscles, and joints need time to adjust. Incorporating a mixture of static and dynamic stretches and movement is a fundamental part of doing sports and significantly reduces your chance of injury.
Not taking adequate rest periods between sports is also another red flag. Our bodies are great, but they have their limits: make sure you have adequate downtime. And this should not just be a few hours between matches – slot in some rest days too, and even factor in off-seasons from time to time.
4. Invest In Sporting Equipment And Protective Gear
If your equipment, footwear, and protective gear are not up to scratch, they can cause more harm than good. Ensure the fit is correct, they are suitable for the sport you are undertaking, and are as good quality as possible. Our therapists can assist you in sourcing and fitting suitable gear.
5. Know Your Sport
Make sure you are clear on the correct techniques and rules for your chosen sport so that you can minimise the chance of doing a movement incorrectly and hurting yourself. Also try to train and play with people at a similar level as you. Trying to match someone else’s performance may feel like great motivation for success but overstraining or compromising technique can ultimately lead to falling far behind them when you can no longer train properly.
6. Sport Injury Treatment
No pain, no gain. It’s a motto that makes therapists everywhere shudder. If you push through pain and ignore your body’s warning signs, it could end in disaster. Even if it’s just a niggle, finding support and treatment early on can lessen the seriousness and prevent even more problems arising alongside it. Reoccurring or ongoing pain, swelling, weakness, stiffness, and reduced functionality can all be indicators that you should visit one of our clinics for professional help.
Our Therapists Can Assist You To Prevent And Treat Sports Injuries
When you’ve dedicated time and energy into training, the last thing you want is to face is a sports injury. Knowing how to go about preventing these and making sure you carry them out can save you a lot of pain and heartache.
Our therapists are passionate about helping you do the sports you love. Afterall, we’re all hooked on one sport or another ourselves! We can develop a personalised plan to guide you as you work to prevent injuries. We are also experienced in providing treatment if concerns do develop. Make an appointment, no matter what stage you’re in on your sports journey, and we can discuss how we can help you.