Have you ever been injured? If yes, have you ever thought what you did wrong and was there any chance to prevent injuries?
Athletes, whether professionals or amateurs, should treat their bodies as a tool that needs care and attention.
In this article, you will find:
Causes of sports injuries
In sports, there are many different types of injuries and so are the causes.
Usually, there are two types of injury causes: acute and chronic injuries.
When it comes to acute injury, the failure factor can also play a role. For example, in basketball and football and contact sports in general, trauma can occur for reasons beyond your control when an opponent tackles you.
There are also chronic overload injuries where there is no direct trauma. But the pain eventually develops into an injury that begins to prevent your athletic performance.
Pain always comes with a cause. The initial reason is that muscles are required more than they can withstand. If this limit is shifted, the injury will develop into an inflammation that will need further treatment.
Injuries can often occur of athletes’ inattention to their bodies. For example overtraining, fatigue, lack of correct warm-up/cooldown, no recovery time and overall not listening to your body.
Sports injuries in different fields of sports
When comparing sports injuries, traumas of the lower limbs are the most common. The number of knee and ankle joint injuries are the highest.
Muscle and ligament injuries are the most common of all sports injuries in weightlifting, track, and field and gymnastics.
Stretched ligaments and tears are frequent in wrestling, track, and fields, team sports and boxing.
Fractures are more common in hockey, boxing, downhill skiing, and football.
According to Insurance Information Institute basketball is the “leading” sport with the highest number of injuries per year in the USA.
How to prevent injuries in sports?
Honest answer: Well, you never can be 100% sure to prevent an injury! Injuries might happen in a time when you are least expecting them. However, injuries can be prevented!
Keep in mind these tips that might help you to prevent injuries. Trust me, your body will thank you
1. Make correct warm-up
Properly performed warm-up ensures a better quality of training and reduces the risk of sports injuries.
Do dynamic exercises. For example hip circles, lunges, push-ups, different body rotations. Your main goal is to increase body temperature.
Your body is like plasticine. Warm plasticine is more elastic and won’t break so easily. So are the muscles after warm-up as well.
Static stretches are not ideal for a warm-up. Use static stretches after practice as part of a cool down.
NB! Make sure to pay extra attention to your joints or muscles where you feel pain or stiffness.
2. Don’t overtrain
Overtraining can cause stress to your body. Don’t increase your exercise intensity too fast or push your body to the limit.
If you feel exhausted, then skip heavy practice and make dynamic stretches instead.
3. Start slowly
Don’t rush to start immediately with exercises. Start easily by warming up your muscles. Increase intensity step-by-step.
Make your first movements easily and controlled. Feel your body, whether it needs longer preparation or no for maximizing performance.
4. Watch your technique – don’t play hero with heavyweights!
Prefer quality over quantity. For example, 3-4 reps with excellent technique may have a better impact on your body rather than 10 reps with sloppy techniques. Ask your fitness coach to check your technique.
Also, don’t try to jump over your shadow. Use the weights you can manage!
5. Stay hydrated
Don’t forget to drink water or electrolyte drinks during your practice. Keep your body hydrated. Drinking fluids bring oxygen to body cells which is essential to avoid cramps.
Dehydration can lead to reduced energy, heat cramps, overheating body, dryness of mouth and throat and much more.
6. Know when to stop
Feeling exhausted and your technique is breaking down? The right time to stop the exercise!
Making extra reps can lead to really serious injuries you don’t want to see in your worst nightmare!
7. Keep an eye on your nutrition
You might be wondering, but the right nutrition can reduce the risk of getting injured. Eat enough and include a variety of healthy nutrients and supplements to your diet.
Avoid a catabolic state! It means that your muscles begin eating themselves. You don’t want to play this game with your muscles.
8. Don’t forget about resting and recovery process
Give your body time to rest. Resting is also an important part of an athlete’s performance development. Rest at least 1-2 times per week.
Sleep around 8 hours. Sleep supports muscle growth as well.
9. Mixed workouts
Mix-up your training programs. It is important to focus on all muscle groups.
Mixed muscle workouts help minimize or reverse body muscle imbalances which can lead to injuries.
10. Wear the right equipment
Keep an eye on your shoes when working out. Avoid ultra-thin featherweight shoes. These are mostly unsupported.
They are not suitable for training footwear. Unsupported footwear is one of the causes of tendon and ligament attachment overload and cartilage overload injuries.
11. Stop when you feel pain
Stop immediately if you feel discomfort or pain in your body. It’s the sign that something is wrong with your body.
No need to play hero, seriously!
12. Train smart, not hard
Focus on exercises that your body needs. No need to lift heavy weights if your body is exhausted. Our bodies are different. Know your limits!
If your body has weak sides, approach and focus on this spot more carefully.
13. Cool down after the workout
Cooldown is as important as the warm-up. It helps to recover your muscles after the workout. Stretch carefully throughout your body.
Focus on breathing. Don’t hold your breath while stretching. Deep, slow and full breathing creates relaxation effects.
You should treat your body as a tool that needs care and attention. Pain and injuries are to some extent part of sports.
Almost every athlete feels some twists or bumps over time but when injuries start to restrict exercise, daily activities, something should be done as soon as possible to treat them. Also, there’s a way you can reduce the risk of getting injured.
Use our given tips on how to prevent injuries and most importantly – listen to your body and your body will appreciate it!