Sports injuries are a lot more common than you probably think. In fact, according to the American Physical Therapy Association, there are about 8.6 million sports injuries each year.
And, close to 3 million of these injuries take place at a sports facility, playground, or athletic field.
While 8.6 million may seem like a high number, the good news is, there’s a lot that you can do to prevent injuries.
Check out this guide to learn how to prevent common sports injuries.
1. Wear Protective Gear
One of the easiest and most important things you can do to prevent sports injuries is to wear protective gear.
The type of gear you wear will depend on the sport you play. Helmets are the most common type of protective gear, and they should be worn for hockey, football, skateboarding, biking, and in-line skating, just to name a few!
Other types of protective gear include shin guards, mouthguards, wristpads, elbow pads, knee guards and protective cups. Shoes are also considered a form of protective gear, as certain shoes prevent you from slipping and falling on rough terrain.
It’s important to keep in mind though that wearing protective gear alone is not enough. In order to stay injury-free, you need to make sure your protective gear is the right size and of high quality.
2. Warm-Up and Cool Down
Every time you exercise, include a warm-up and a cool down.
Warming up before exercise is important because research shows heated muscles are less likely to suffer from injury. Warming up can take place in the form of light walking or jogging. Or, you can do some simple plyometric moves like high knees, jumping jacks, or running in place.
For your cool down, you can do the same activities. It’s also a good idea to stretch during your cool down, as increasing flexibility is another good way to prevent injury.
While it’s okay to do some stretching before your workout, you want to make sure your body is warm before you start stretching.
A lot of these common sports injuries require surgery or PRP therapy, therefore it’s important to play it safe and take preventative measures to avoid getting injured in the first place.
3. Know the Rules of the Game
When drivers obey stoplights and follow the rules of the road, fewer accidents happen. The same logic can be applied to sports injuries.
When players know the rules of the game and follow them, fewer injuries happen.
4. Don’t Play When You’re Injured
While it can be tough to sit on the sidelines and watch others play, taking the appropriate time to heal after an injury is very important.
If you start playing before you’re fully recovered, you increase your risk of being re-injured. So, listen to what your doctor says and follow your recovery plan.
Are You Ready to Prevent These Common Sports Injuries?
Now that you’ve read this guide, you should be better equipped to prevent these common sports injuries. If you are already injured, make sure you take the proper time to heal.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more health and wellness tips and tricks!