Playing sports is a healthy activity and one you that you actually enjoy! However, all the fun gets sucked out if you get a nasty sports injury- and it isn’t much beneficial for your health either. To make sure that you enjoy all that sports have to offer without hurting yourself, you need to take some preventive measures. Here are 5 ways in which you can protect yourself from sports injuries:
1. Always wear protective gear
If you are biking or playing football or baseball, wear a helmet. A helmet is a common and useful protective gear for a range of sports but it’s not the only thing you need. Depending on what sport you play, you will probably need eye protection, pads, special shoes known as cleats, mouth/knees/elbow guards and/or a protective cup etc. It is important for kids to consult their coaches and parents for advice on the right protective gear.
2. Warm up before you start
Before you start playing, you should take some time to properly warm up. Lots of kids- and even some professional players- sometimes just dive right into the game without giving their body a chance to prepare itself for the physical exertion. Your warm up should ideally be between 15 to 30 minutes and it should begin with a light jog. The jog should be followed by gradual stretching that will help your muscles loosen up and get ready for the game.
3. Play by the rules
There are rules for every game. They tell you about the right way to play the game and they tell you what’s allowed and what’s not. The rules not only govern a fair game but also ensure player safety. When you and the rest of players know their roles and the right way to interact with each other, there are bound to be far less injuries.
4. Be mindful of other players’ safety too
Sports injuries can spell disaster for a player’s life and even be fatal. And no game win is as important as player’s health and life. When you keep this in mind, you’ll be able to engage in fair, courteous gameplay where all the players watch out for each other. It could be something as small as telling another player that their shoelaces are untied but it could end up saving them from a nasty sport injury. You will need the good karma for professional success!
5. Don’t keep playing if you are injured
This is the golden rule in sports safety. Don’t jeopardize your health just because you don’t want to stop playing or are eager to get on the field again. An injury that hasn’t had the time to heal completely could turn into a far worse condition if you start playing again without recovering. You might have to sit one game out. But it’s far better than missing out on sports all your life because you became reckless.
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Even if your participation in sports is limited to the occasional weekends or as frequent as that of a professional athlete, you are susceptible to sports injuries. You could break your leg (literally) the first time you go out and play or you could develop a chronic condition over decades of playing the same sport. The point is that sports injuries are common, numerous and varied, and there’s no telling when you’ll suffer from one. So, while sports contribute towards a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to understand the associated risks and how you can protect yourself from a debilitating injury.
PREVENTION IS KEY
All the best sportsmen and players know that safety comes first. If you sustain an injury as soon as you step out on the field, you could miss out on the whole game- and at times- your whole possible career. In our next article, we will discuss some tips that can help you protect yourself and prevent sports injuries. But first let’s take a look at the types of sports injuries.
TYPES OF SPORTS INJURIES
Sports injuries can be broadly divided into two categories, acute traumatic injuries and overuse or chronic injuries.
ACUTE TRAUMATIC INJURIES
If you’ve ever sustained a sport injury from a single sudden blow that was powered by a single application of force, you have experience an acute traumatic injury. Acute traumatic injuries stem from sudden accidents and can range from the slightly unpleasant to life threatening. Following are the types of acute traumatic injuries:
- Fractures: The cracking, breaking and/or shattering of bones.
- Bruises: Medically known as contusions, bruises are a result of swelling or bleeding in muscles and other body tissue.
- Strains: Strains entail the stretching and tearing of muscles or tendons. A tendon is basically the end of the muscle and it connects the rest of the muscle to the bone.
- Sprains: Ligaments are tissue that join bones and cartilages and strengthen the joints. A stretch or tear in ligaments can cause sprains.
- Abrasions: These are the scrapes we know so well.
- Lacerations: Lacerations are cuts and wounds to the skin that usually require stitches.
Overuse/chronic sports injuries develop over time. Repetitive training (as in running, tennis etc.) can cause chronic injuries. They include:
- Stress fractures: Stress fractures are the tiny bone cracks that can develop as a result of repeat pressure on the same area. For instance, they can develop in the feet if you’re a basketball player as that involves a lot of jumping.
- Epiphysitis or apophysitis: These are growth plate overload injuries.
- Tendinitis: Repetitive stretching can cause tendon inflammation known as tendinitis.
If you or someone you know has suffered a sports injury, visit us at the MedHelp clinic right away for treatment and advice.
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