Fall sports season is an exciting time for participants and spectators. It too is a busy time for sports injury physicians and trainers. While all sports come with a risk for injury, the more contact in a sport (like football, soccer and basketball), the greater the risk of a traumatic injury. As many would correctly guess, knees, shoulders, legs, and wrists are at highest risk for injury.
While some common injuries are outside an athlete’s control, sports injuries such as those brought on by or exacerbated due to overuse, improper conditioning and/or training can be prevented.
As we transition back into the fall sports season, here are some steps to help prevent injury:
Care for the Body: Drink plenty of fluid before, during and after exercise to avoid heat illness and/or cramps; Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet and stay rested (muscle fatigue predisposes athletes to injury).
Warm Up: Incorporate warm-up and cool-down routines that include static (stretching) and dynamic (jumping jacks etc.) movements before activity; stretch after activity to increase flexibility. Studies show that cold muscles are prone to injury.
Be Prepared: Use proper technique and wear the correct equipment for the activity. This includes footwear, protective gear and temperature appropriate clothing.
Train and Condition: Overuse injuries are common among athletes. Incorporate strength training and cross-training to prevent overworking a specific muscle group. Maintain a consistent exercise regime and a fitness level consistent with the demands of your sport.
Know your Body: Recognize and respond when your body is fatigued. A good rule is to rest or stop activity when you are not physically up to the demands of your sport. If you experience any pain, stop the activity and speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer.
If pain does not respond to rest, pain is consistent during or after activity, you experience painful ‘pops,’ have persistent swelling around a joint, recurring instability or giving way of joints, and/or any other symptom that makes you uneasy or unable to participate in an activity or sport to your fullest potential, seek medical advice.
At Idaho Orthopaedic and Sports Clinics we are here for you, from professional athletes to occasional athletes and for those new to a sport and those who have reached peak performance, we can handle all your orthopedic needs. If you would like to schedule a consult, I am happy to help to find ways to help anyone who has sustained an injury get back to an active, pain-free lifestyle. Call at 208-234-1960 to schedule a consult.