If you’re active and aiming to get fit, nothing that can stop that plan in its tracks like an injury. There’s nothing more frustrating than being sidelined for weeks or months and falling way behind in your fitness regime. Sporting injuries are common for everyone, from the average joe to professional athletes. At the time of maximum exertion, pushing your body to its limit, things can go wrong. Muscle injuries often occur during the eccentric phase of the muscle contraction and ligament injuries can occur from overstretching and too much strain being placed on that area of the body.
Although sometimes they can’t be helped, due to a collision in contact sport or an opponent causing an injury through foul play, there are ways to reduce the risk of injury. Below is a list of preventative measures you can take in order to stay injury-free this summer. The better you prepare for sport the less likely you are to suffer a mishap.
Preparation – Warm-up and cool down. Just a five-minute warm-up increases our body temperature and provides oxygen to your muscle groups reducing the risk of injury. It prepares the cardiovascular system for physical activity and helps increase suppleness of muscles. On the contrary, the aim of cooling down is to return your body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure back to normal. Whilst this doesn’t reduce your immediate chances of injury, it can reduce the level of lactic acid buildup which reduces muscle cramps and stiffness. This is important to aid your recovery period and can prevent injuries if you exercise regularly.
Flexibility – Incorporating stretches into your daily routine is highly beneficial. By developing increased flexibility it allows more stress to be placed on your body and therefore improve physical performance. You’ll increase your range of motion, which in turn can improve technique.
Technique – This is eternally important when playing sports. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Undertake semi-regular technique checks with a teammate or self-evaluate. Standard techniques are usually in place because; they work, they prevent injury and they maximise performance.
Protective Equipment – Every sport has some form of equipment. Cricket has pads, cycling has helmets and boxing has gum shields. Whatever your chosen sport, research the appropriate equipment requirements and the protective equipment needed to play. This gear is designed to reduce the risk of injury. Some sports are less dangerous but should still be played wearing relevant equipment. One example is footwear. You should always wear the correct footwear for running, hiking, climbing, etc.
Rest – Rest equals recovery. No matter how fit and healthy you are, your body requires rest to regenerate and recover. Too little rest and you will most likely fall victim to injuries. Just as important as general rest is taking sufficient time to recover from small injuries. Not allowing your body time to recover means you can aggravate smaller injuries which cause more serious ones. Repeatedly playing through injuries is a one-way ticket to developing a chronic injury. Once the damage has been done, it’s very difficult to repair.
Sports injury treatment is a passion of ours, and our practitioners are experienced in treating a wide range of injuries. We have treated numerous elite sportspeople, but are just as passionate about getting any sports enthusiast back out enjoying themselves. Meet the team to discuss your sports injuries and how we can help.