The occasional bump or bruise is expected when you play sports, but with the participation in sports at an all time high for all ages and abilities, there are more and more injuries happening. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, up to 50 percent of all athletic injuries can be avoided. At Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine, we take pride in our patient care and never want our patients to get hurt. We put together a list of a few things you can do to prevent sports injuries.
- Stay Hydrated – Even the slightest bit of dehydration can cause fatigue, decrease performance, and make you more vulnerable to injury. It is important to assess your workout and hydrate accordingly, before, during and after.
- Stretch/Warm-up – Before playing a sport, do some light cardio (a jog or some jumping jacks) to get your blood pumping and warm up your muscles. Once your muscles are warmed up, take time to stretch, paying special attention to the most used during that activity. Not only are warm muscles less susceptible to injury, but they can also improve your overall level of play.
- Use Proper Protective Gear – For that, which you can’t prevent, protect. For example: football players can’t prevent being tackled, it’s part of the game, but they can protect against it. Helmets, shin guards, or shoulder pads – whatever it is that your sport calls for, make sure you have it and it is in good enough condition to do its job.
- Rest – The amount of rest an athlete receives can directly affect their level of focus and performance. That being said, a tired athlete is more prone to blunders than a well-rested one. Plus, who doesn’t want a good excuse to take a “power” nap?
- Check Equipment – Broken or faulty equipment can easily lead to unforeseen injuries. Though it may not be your responsibility to maintain equipment, taking the time to check it before using it can save possible trouble down the road.
- Know Your Limits –Be aware of what your body can handle and don’t try to do too much too soon. In time, with practice and patience, you will be able to push your own boundaries, but jumping the gun and winding up injured is counterproductive.
- Learn Proper Form – In sport, technique is everything. By perfecting it, you can avoid common things like falls, pulled muscles or overuse injuries.
- Follow Rules – Know and follow the rules of your sport. They’re intended, in part, to keep things safe.
As with all injuries, even prevention doesn’t insure you to be injury free. If you or someone you know has sustained a sports injury, Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine can help. We offer sports medicine, physical therapy and chiropractic care for individuals looking to recover from and prevent further injuries. Contact us for an appointment to learn more.