Although most injuries in young and older athletes alike are due to overuse, the reality is that all sports have a risk of injury and the more contact in a sport, the greater the risk.
Every year, approximately 8.6 million sports injuries are reported in the United States, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. These injuries range from sprains and strains to stress fractures, concussions, and dislocations – affecting the neck, shoulder, arms, elbows, wrists, legs, and feet.
It’s almost inevitable that you’ll suffer some sort of sports injury at some point – whether mild, moderate, or severe – if you are athletically inclined or participate in team sports.
To reduce the risk of sustaining a sports injury, follow these tips:
Wear proper sports gear
Whether it’s football, baseball, hockey, or any contact sport, players need to wear appropriate protective equipment such as pads, helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and eyewear that fits properly. Even with this protection, injuries can occur – so try to avoid dangerous or risky maneuvers on the playing field.
Exercise to condition and strengthen muscles
Never take the field without first warming up. Work your muscles during practice so they can endure the stress on game day.
Focus on increasing your flexibility
Stretching exercises after practice and games – along with a daily fitness plan – can help you achieve greater flexibility and avoid muscle or ligament damage.
Hustling is fine but use the proper techniques for your sport. For example, avoid sliding headfirst when playing baseball or softball, tackling headfirst (spearing) in football, or checking in hockey. Not only could you injure yourself, but also another player.
Drink plenty of fluids
Keeping yourself hydrated before, during, and after exercise or play is critical to avoiding heat illness. So is limiting your practice or competition during periods of high heat and humidity. Also, wear light clothing when exercising or engaging in non-contact sports.
Take frequent breaks
Rest periods are essential during practice and games to reduce injury risk and prevent heat illness.
Allow your body time to recover
Take at least one day off per week from training and at least one month off per year from play, especially if you had an injury during the season.
Never play through pain
At the first sign of discomfort, head for the sidelines. Playing hurt will only heighten your risk of sustaining a more serious injury.
Sports Injury Treatment Expertise in Colorado
Despite these precautions, you or a loved one may sustain a sports injury. If so, you can turn to STAR Spine & Sport for prompt and effective care from our highly qualified sports medicine team.
We specialize in a variety of non-invasive treatments for sports injuries, using a combination of therapies to eliminate pain and inflammation. We’re dedicated to your complete recovery quickly and safely.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call (303) 238-4277, or use our form online to request an appointment.