We all have had a brush with sports at some point in time in our lives, as pro athletes, college rookies or weekend warriors, or somewhere in between.
If you’re in the game to win it, you know that injuries can prove to be your worst nightmares. Sports injuries sometimes lead to serious consequences, like impacting professional careers or restricting mobility. Also, if you are a sportsman, it’s imperative that you steer clear of injuries before a major event, which you might have to train very intensely for.
An injury-free yet vigorous training routine is perhaps the best midway that can be struck, to ensure a long, fulfilling sporting career. According to studies, more than half of youth-related sports injuries are preventable.
Here’s how to avoid five of the most common sports injuries:
Joint sprains can be extremely unsettling and literally prove pivotal in the longer run. Moreover, the ligaments surrounding the joints bear the brunt of the injury as well, and being the stabilizing agents to our joints, their recovery is just of as much significance.
When a joint shifts the wrong way or too far the right way, ligament tears tend to occur, often from sudden falls or twists when landing a jump or the next step.
- Limited flexibility
Pre-emptive measures can help prevent sprains. Pre-activity stretching before workouts or the game can make that key difference. Strengthening the joints while not exceeding the limits is also essential, because you’re better off building strength gradually than trying to run the extra mile right away. Heed to the body’s signs, take time and prolong your stint.
- Knee Injuries
While we carry most of our sports endeavours on our knees, they are also the most susceptible to devastating injuries in sports. Most contact sports witness non-serious and critical knee injuries, with dislocations, sprains and tears being the most common.
Common knee injuries include:
- A meniscal tear (torn cartilage)
- Iliotibial band syndrome (common for long-distance runners)
One of the most debilitating and career-ending knee injuries is a tear or damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It’s one of the most common injuries in football, and many great legends have had their careers cut short cruelly owing to ACL tears.
Surgery and rehab can help heal ACL and other knee injuries, but as always, prevention remains the best cure. Warmups, low-impact, high-value routines, weight training, can help you build core strength in your knees. Consistency is the key and intensity in the fuel, for you to dive knee-deep and take on new challenges fearlessly.
A bone fracture includes anything from a split or cracks in the bone to a full break. Fractures result in prolonged recovery period, and it’s the rehabilitation to regular life, followed by return to the training routine, that’s the most uphill aspect of the injury. Fractures happen from impacts like falls, tackles, resulting in broken wrists, ribs, bones
Positive steps you can take:
Good nutrition:Strong bones can be ensured by consuming plenty of dairy product, whole grains, vegetables, and other foods or supplements that contain Vitamin D.
Good technique: It’s important that your reflex training routines and agility exercises are based on the sound foundation of good technique.
Good equipment: Keep a tab on faulty equipment that can potentially sabotage your training routines or lead to injuries.
- Shin Splints
A common injury for runners or athletes that play high-impact sports like rugby, hockey, athletics, gymnastics, running, etc. It’s also one of the most common injuries in basketball and football, because of the speed and intensity at which these sports are played.
- Tenderness or pain along the inner side of your shinbone
- Mild swelling in your lower leg
- Tightness in your calf
- Pain when walking
Simple ways to prevent this injury
- The right footwear matters. Runners’ arch and stride rely on a good ‘sole’mate.
- Don’t overdo it. Don’t do too much too soon. Gradually increase your distance, impact, or intensity.
- Add strength training to your growing repertoire of exercises. There’s a common misconception that strength-training is only for weight-lifters. However, strength-training helps prevent injuries for almost any sport, because it makes your core tensile and mitigates vulnerabilities.
- At the first sign of shin splints, stop. Rest and stretching are two of the best ways to recover quickly and prevent shin splints from reoccurring.
- Muscle Strains
A muscle strain impacts your tendons, and while often mistaken to be a sprain, there’s a significant difference between the two.
When experiencing muscle strain, you could have these symptoms:
- Muscle spasm
- Pain around the joint
- Limited flexibility
Again, the key to preventing muscle strains is to not work out beyond healthy limits. Extreme fatigue is often a precursor to strains, and rest, a balanced post-workout intake following a brief interval, can greatly help reduce muscle strain possibilities.
Overstretching after games, especially when your muscles are dehydrated and parched, can lead to strains. Instead, go for a swim or a Pilates session, to keep things light, relaxed and rejuvenating.
Treat Common Sports Injuries with urgency
It’s important you tend to your injuries before they get aggravated. Seek professional help to ensure quick recoveries and to avoid small niggles growing into major injuries. It’s always better to avoid getting sidelined by a sports injury, by following a time-tested, rhythmic routine that keeps you injury-free and at the top of your game.