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Top Tips to Prevent Sports Injuries

When it comes to sports injuries, the best approach is always prevention. At the Performance Sports Medicine Institute, we take a proactive approach to injury prevention, helping athletes and active individuals stay in the game. By practicing some simple steps, you can dramatically reduce your risk of being sidelined by an injury.

What is a Sports Injury?

The first step in prevention is understanding what a sports injury is. A sports injury is any type of injury that occurs while participating in a sporting activity. The most common types of sports injuries are strains and sprains, which occur when the muscles or ligaments are stretched or torn. However, other types of injuries, such as fractures, dislocations, and concussions, can also occur.

Common Causes of Sports Injuries

There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of sustaining a sports injury. Poor conditioning is one of the most common causes of sports injuries. When you are not in good shape, your muscles are more likely to be strained or torn. Other risk factors include:

  • Inadequate warm-up
  • Poor technique
  • Lack of focus
  • Playing through pain

How to Prevent Sports Injuries

Now that you understand what a sports injury is and what causes them, you can take steps to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to help you stay safe on the playing field:

Warm Up Properly

Warming up is one of the most important things you can do to prevent a sports injury. A proper warm-up will increase your heart rate and loosen your muscles, making them less likely to be injured. To warm up properly, start with some light aerobic activity, such as jogging or riding a bike. Then, do some dynamic stretching exercises.

Cool Down

Just as important as warming up is cooling down. Cooling down helps your body recover from the stress of exercise and prevents lactic acid from building up in your muscles, which can lead to pain and stiffness. To cool down, gradually reduce the intensity of your activity, and then do some static stretching exercises.

Wear the Right Equipment

One of the best ways to prevent a sports injury is to wear the proper equipment. Make sure you have the right shoes for your sport, and that they fit properly. If you play a contact sport, such as football or hockey, you should also wear the appropriate protective gear, such as a mouthguard.

Use Good Technique

Using proper technique is important for all athletes, from beginners to professionals. When you use good technique, your body is able to move more efficiently, which reduces the risk of injury. If you are unsure of the proper technique for your sport, seek out a coach or trainer who can help you learn.

Listen to Your Body

It’s important to listen to your body and be aware of any pain or discomfort you may be feeling. If you are in pain, stop what you are doing and rest. Ignoring pain can lead to further injury.

Build Up Gradually

If you are starting a new sport or exercising for the first time in a while, it’s important to build up gradually. A sudden increase in activity can put too much stress on your muscles and joints, making you more susceptible to injury.

Orthopedic Care for Sports Injuries

Sometimes accidents happen.  If you do sustain a sports injury, the first step is to see an orthopedic specialist. At the Performance, Sports Medicine Institute, our team of expert orthopedic surgeons, therapists and sports medicine physicians are dedicated to helping you get back in the game as quickly and safely as possible. We offer a full range of services, from diagnosis and treatment to rehabilitation and performance assessment.

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, we can help you get back to doing what you love. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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