SPORTS INJURIES

Prevention

Whether you've never had a sports injury and you're trying to keep it that way or you've had an injury and don't want another, the following tips can help.

  • Avoid bending knees past 90 degrees when doing half knee bends.
  • Avoid twisting knees by keeping feet as flat as possible during stretches.
  • When jumping, land with your knees bent.
  • Do warmup exercises not just before vigorous activities like running, but also before less vigorous ones such as golf.
  • Don't overdo.
  • Do warmup stretches before activity. Stretch the Achilles tendon, hamstring, and quadriceps areas and hold the positions. Don't bounce.
  • Cool down following vigorous sports. For example, after a race, walk or walk/jog for five minutes so your pulse comes down gradually.
  • Wear properly fitting shoes that provide shock absorption and stability.
  • Use the softest exercise surface available, and avoid running on hard surfaces like asphalt and concrete. Run on flat surfaces. Running uphill may increase the stress on the Achilles tendon and the leg itself.

Adult Athletes

To prevent injuries, adult athletes should take the following precautions:

  • Don't be a "weekend warrior," packing a week's worth of activity into a day or two. Try to maintain a moderate level of activity throughout the week.
  • Learn to do your sport right. Using proper form can reduce your risk of "overuse" injuries such as tendinitis and stress fractures.
  • Remember safety gear. Depending on the sport, this may mean knee or wrist pads or a helmet.
  • Accept your body's limits. You may not be able to perform at the same level you did 10 or 20 years ago. Modify activities as necessary.
  • Increase your exercise level gradually.
  • Strive for a total body workout of cardiovascular, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Cross-training reduces injury while promoting total fitness.
Click here for more infomation on sports injuries at the National Institute of Health website >

Sourced from:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health
www.niams.nih.gov