Did you know that around 10% of young people involved in sports every year get injured? It might make you wonder how many of those injuries are preventable.
While some injuries are unavoidable, such as a crash or a nasty tackle from an opponent, there are certainly some that could come about due to a lack of care before engaging in a sporting activity.
We’re here to help you with some advice and information on the prevention of sports injuries, so keep reading to give yourself the best chance of staying injury-free!
Of all the pieces of advice in this article, warming up is one that all of us have probably heard dozens of times. But hearing the advice and heeding the advice are two very different things.
Maybe you turn up to the gym or to your chosen sport and want to get straight into it, or maybe you’re not great at keeping time so don’t get a chance to warm up.
The best way to encourage you to make sure you do it is to explain why it’s important. The basic science of warming up is about blood flow. If you put a muscle through intensive use without sufficient blood flow, there is a much higher risk of injury.
The most common types of sports injuries are muscle or tendon pulls, both of which can be prevented with a good warm-up routine.
5-10 minutes of light movement and stretching can do wonders for injury prevention.
2. Be Realistic With Your Expectations
It’s the middle of summer. Wimbledon is on television and you have been watching in awe as the athletes run, twist, and slide all over the court. You feel inspired to try out a new sport so you book a place at the local tennis courts.
It might feel easy at first, but as you get more comfortable with the racket you might start to push yourself. You stretch for balls, you make sudden, sharp turns, and all of a sudden you stumble over your ankle.
It’s great to feel inspired and to act on that inspiration, but if you don’t pace yourself and be realistic about your skill level, you could easily end up injured!
3. Don’t Ignore the Niggles
Aches, pains, and niggling injuries are part and parcel of an active lifestyle, especially as we start to get older. But the worst thing you can do is ignore that twinge in your shoulder or weakness in your leg muscle.
These things are generally signs that your body is trying to tell you something isn’t right. Bear in mind that this doesn’t include DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), the non-scientific term for sore muscles the day after exercise.
Anything lasting longer than a few days should cause you to be careful, and perhaps see a sports physio who can help with the prevention and treatment of sports injuries.
The Prevention of Sports Injuries Is Fairly Simple
There’s no hugely scientific method for the prevention of sports injuries. Listen to your body, warm up sufficiently, and don’t rush into things and you’ll hopefully have a long, injury-free sporting career.
If you enjoyed this article on the importance of injury prevention in sports, why not check out some of the other sports-related articles on our blog?