Preventing Sports Injuries
Exercise is good for the body and with the proper precautions, sports injuries can often be prevented. The quality of protective equipment - padding, helmets, shoes, mouth guards - has helped to improve safety in sports. But, you can still be susceptible to injury. Always contact your healthcare provider before starting any type of physical activity, especially vigorous types of exercises or sports.
10 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries in Kids and Teens
Young athletes today push themselves harder than ever before, which means they’re at greater risk for sports-related injuries. Pediatric sports medicine expert R. Jay Lee provides these 10 injury prevention tips to help keep your young athlete safe.
Causes of sports injuries may include:
- Improper or poor training practices
- Wearing improper sporting gear
- Being in poor health condition
- Improper warm-up or stretching practices before a sporting event or exercise
Common sports injuries include:
- Sprains and strains
- Joint injuries (knee)
- Muscle injuries
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Pain along the shin bone
Common Sports and Activity Related Injuries: What to Consider from Pain to Breaks
Learn more about common sports injuries and treatments to consider from our sports medicine expert Alex Johnson, M.D., and our foot and ankle expert John Thompson, M.D., in this webinar-based video.
How can I prevent a sports injury?
The following are some basic steps to prevent a sports injury:
- Develop a fitness plan that includes cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility. This will help decrease your chance of injury.
- Alternate exercising different muscle groups and exercise every other day.
- Cooldown properly after exercise or sports. It should take 2 times as long as your warm-ups.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
- Stretching exercises can improve the ability of muscles to contract and perform, reducing the risk of injury. Each stretch should start slowly until you reach a point of muscle tension. Stretching should not be painful. Aim to hold each stretch for up to 20 seconds.
- Use the right equipment or gear and wear shoes that provide support and that may correct certain foot problems that can lead to injury.
- Learn the right techniques to play your sport.
- Rest when tired, Avoid exercise when you are tired or in pain.
- Always take your time during strength training and go through the full range of motion with each repetition.
- If you do sustain a sports injury, make sure you participate in adequate rehabilitation before resuming strenuous activity.
Download a Woman's Guide to Sports Injury Prevention and Treatment
While active men and women may be equally likely to get hurt, some sports injuries affect women more often or in different ways. This guide explains the biggest risks active women face and how you can run, play or work out smarter to prevent injury.