When it comes to your long-term health, taking up a sport is the most positive thing you can do. But sports injuries are a common occurrence as well, and athletes of all levels are susceptible to suffering from these. Some injuries are more common than others, and many of these have common causes. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common sports injuries and how they can be avoided.
What are the drivers of sports injury?
Following the wrong advice
If you’ve been given the wrong advice, then you might put yourself at increased risk of injury. The risks of poor instruction are higher in some sports than others. If you’re deadlifting, for example, poor guidance can backfire spectacularly. An injury resulting from bad instruction could lead to a personal injury claim.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re getting the best advice is to only workout with fitness professionals with all the appropriate certifications. Don’t be scared to ask your personal trainer for references or tangible proof that they have the knowledge to help you look after your physical well-being.
Pushing yourself too far
If you’re trying to push yourself further than your body can handle, you might put yourself at risk. If you’re straining to reach your weekly goal for mileage, for example, you might prevent your body from recovering adequately in between sessions.
Lack of warm-up
Many people underestimate the importance of warming up properly before exercise. Warming up prepares the body ahead of the movement, by increasing heart rate and therefore blood flow. Muscles start receiving more oxygen and the connections between nerves and muscles improve, making movement much more efficient.
We should also take rest and recuperation seriously. A failure to eat, sleep and drink properly during your downtime will put you at elevated risk of an injury. Similarly, a lack of proper warm-up and warm-down might spell the difference between a severe strain and a mild one. Cross-training and active recovery can help you to deal with these problems.
Not knowing how to use the equipment
If your sport requires the use of equipment, then you’ll need to use it in the right way. This applies especially to weightlifting, as we’ve mentioned. If you see a contraption in the gym, and you’re not sure of how to use it, it’s usually best to ask.
Faulty equipment can be another reason for injury. From faulty shoes to gym equipment that’s improperly adjusted, equipment malfunction is another potential hazard for sportspeople. Athletes should always inspect their equipment before each session and ensure it’s well-adjusted and properly maintained.
Finally, we should consider the role of distractions. If you’re going to get the best from sporting life, then it’s a good idea to be mindful of what you’re doing. Focus your attention on the task at hand, and block out irrelevancies.
And what are the most common sports injuries?
Sports injuries can occur to any athlete at any level or age. These injuries can range from mild sprains to very severe back injuries. Understanding which injuries are most common is the first step to avoiding them.
Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains account for a significant fraction of sporting injuries. A sprain is a pulled muscle or tendon, while a sprain is a pulled ligament. If you have a history of the latter, then it might be a good idea to support the affected joint with the help of a brace. The most common body part for sprains to occur are ankles, knees, and wrists.
High-impact sports might put you at risk of a broken bone or two. In some cases, a fracture can require surgery. Often, this kind of injury results from ‘playing through the pain’ or a more minor one.
This is a form of repetitive strain injury, which results from performing the same activity over and over again. It can occur in tennis, but also in other sports, like golf.
The only way to prevent tennis elbow is by strengthening the forearm muscles; another thing athletes can do to prevent this type of injury is ensuring they’re using the proper technique when performing the repetitive motion.
Back injuries are very common and can occur due to various reasons, from poor posture to sudden impact or even overuse. The best way to deal with problems is to anticipate them, and proactively build the strength of your back with the right exercise. Athletes should also work on improving their posture when training.
In conclusion, sports injuries are a common occurrence for all athletes. The causes are many and varied, and the resulting injuries can go from mild sprains to more serious back injuries.