Exercising is good for you, but sometimes you can injure yourself when you take part in sports or exercise. Accidents, poor training or preparation or even improper equipment and footwear can cause sports injuries. Some people get hurt because they are not fit or ill prepared. Not warming up or stretching enough can also lead to injuries.
The most common sports injuries are
- Sprains and strains
- Knee injuries
- Swollen muscles
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Pain along the shin bone
If you get hurt, stop playing. Continuing to play or exercise can cause more harm. Treatment often begins with the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling and speed healing. Other possible treatments include pain relievers, keeping the injured area from moving, rehabilitation and sometimes surgery.
In many cases, these types of injuries are due to over use of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity. For example, runner’s knee is a painful condition generally associated with running, while tennis elbow is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow. Other types of injuries can be caused by a hard contact with something. This can often cause a broken bone or torn ligament or tendon.
Injury can be minimalised by doing an effective warm up, this consists of a heart raiser to get your pulse up, followed by sport specific dynamic stretches (stretches whilst moving).
To reduce the risk of injury the following may help:
- Time off. Plan to have at least 1 day off per week form a particular sport to allow the body to recover.
- Wear the right gear. Players should wear appropriate and properly fitting footwear and clothing. Protective equipment such as protective pads, helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and/or eyewear should be worn for particular sports.
- Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises before games and during practice strengthens muscles used in play.
- Increase flexibility. Stretching exercises before and after games or practice can increase flexibility.
- Use the proper technique. This should be reinforced during the playing season.
- Take breaks. Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries.
- Play safe. Strict rules against headfirst sliding (baseball and softball), spearing (football), and body checking (ice hockey) should be enforced.
- Stop the activity if there is pain and avoid heat injury by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or play.
Using proper equipment is key in preventing injury.
Fatigue can be a contributing factor in sports injuries because it is more difficult for the body to protect itself when fatigued. Stopping an activity at the first sign of fatigue can prevent sports related injuries.
We specialise in sports injuries so book an appointment to get back to peak performance as quickly as possible.