If you’ve ever played a sport you’d be aware that there are many types of injuries and whether you’re a weekend warrior or a pro, you’d be accustomed to getting the occasional sports injury.
There are some simple and effective ways to injury-proof our bodies so that the next time we take to the field or court, we’ll hopefully experience the thrill of victory without the agony of any kind. Here are some tips for preventing common sports injuries.
Area of Injury: Shoulders
The shoulder area is a particular area that is generally tight and should you need to raise your arm above your head you will eventually get signs of wear and tear that will wind up giving you some pain. Whether it’s your rotator cuff, pinched tendons or you are getting inflammation in your shoulder, there are some simple ways to prevent injury.
Prevention: A successful exercise for preventing shoulder injury is to strengthen and stretch the rotator cuff using rubber exercise bands. Put your arms by your side and raise them to your sides at a 90-degree angle to get the best stretch for your body. You can also use a towel that you have on hand and hold it behind your head, then using the end of the towel behind your back you can pull your lower hand gently upwards to give your shoulder a nice stretch on that particular side, repeat on the other side.
Area of Injury: Elbow
If you’ve ever experienced the pain of tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow you’d we aware of the discomfort and the muscular issues that come with this sports injury. Repetitive use of the elbow can be an issue in sport and the muscles and tendons can become an issue.
Prevention: To prevent this type of sports injury, you can attach a brace to the elbow to help keep elbow pain and injury at bay. You can also warm up the elbow before you take part in sport by placing your hands face up on a table and touching each finger with the thumb or resting your forearms on your thigh with your hands up and balling your fists and rotating them in a clockwise direction. Squeezing a tennis ball also can help with an elbow sports injury and keep them from regularly occurring.
Area of Injury: Knees
The well-known sports injury and the one that gets the most attention is the ACL or knee injury. The knee joint often has blowouts for sports enthusiasts and professional athletes and this can also affect the PCL, LCL, and MCL. The ligaments above and below the knee are susceptible to sports injury and you should be careful to take preventative measures.
Prevention: Damage to the ligaments of the knee are a little more difficult to prevent as it often happens as part of a one-time accident. The key here is effective strengthening and stretching. Athletes should warm up with some light aerobic activity for approximately five minutes and then stretch the calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings. While you may not be able to completely avoid this knee injury, you can limit it by stretching properly before and after excercise and sports.
Area of Injury: Ankle
The ankle is an area that while small packs a powerful punch when injured, so all the sports enthusiasts out there should be aware that these types of ailments should be stabilized for peak physical fitness. Each step we take, we need the support of the ankle and when it isn’t in top condition we can have difficulties in sport propelling forward and stabilizing.
Prevention: To help prevent the ankle rolls and twists that can take months to heal, focus on strengthening the muscles in the ankle joint to keep injuries away. One of the easiest ways to do this is through ankle rotations. Simply sit and raise your foot off the ground. Then, circle your foot ten times clockwise and ten times counterclockwise. While you might take extra time before and after your sport, your ankle will thank you for it and you will always ensure it is warmed up and ready to propel you to new heights in your sport.
Area of Injury: Lower Back
Lower back pain has been a part of daily life for many humans and whether you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior back pain is quite common and can cause issues throughout the entire human body if not managed correctly. Activities like weight lifting, jumping, twisting, jolting and running and the odds of that part of the body getting sore increase dramatically. If you have a tendency to get lower back pain or back pain of any kind, it is important to follow the precautions below to ensure you are not suffering unnecessarily.
Prevention: For back pain and lower pain in particular whole-body stretching is critical. Add some common yoga poses into your warm up and warm down to keep back pain away from your sporting life add in positions such as downward dog, triangle pose and chair pose can help bring stability and flexibility into the low back area and prevent injuries. Back pain will come into play as we age and the body become misaligned and using yoga and stretching to reduce the likelihood of injury is key.