For many of us, physical activity like exercise or engaging in sports has become a part of our everyday lives and as we know it has many proven health benefits. Physical activity improves our immune system, reduces heart disease, diabetes, helps to maintain a healthy weight, increases stamina and can even help support mental health problems.
Exercising or participating in sports is good to maintain a healthy physique. Excessive workouts or performing in sports without proper training or warmup can put you at risk of injury. Although sports injuries refer to injuries occurring during sports or exercises, it is generally used to refer injuries in the musculoskeletal system.
Common Sports Injuries
The most frequent type of sports injuries is strains, sprains, bruises while more serious injuries can be broken bones and torn cartilages. Here are few common injuries that occur while participating in sports activities.
Strains are injuries that happen to muscles when it is stretched beyond its limit, contracted extremely, overused, and can even occur due to intensive training. It commonly occurs in legs and lower back.
Sprains are usually stretch or tear that occur to ligaments and it commonly affects wrists, thumbs, ankles, and knees.
Contusions or bruises result from sudden falling or hitting a hard surface and would eventually result in pain, swelling, and discoloration.
Fractures occur mostly when the bone is subjected to a sudden force that it cannot withstand and is a fairly common sports injury.
Dislocation happens when a bone slips out of place and is seen mostly in people involved in sports that have a lot of pushing, stretching or falling like football or basketball.
Knee Injuries is the most common type of sports injury that occurs due to running, jumping, sudden twisting and turning of knees. It affects knee bone, cartilages, tendons and can even restrict movement. Proper diagnosis and treatment are vital to minimize the problem.
How to Prevent the Risk of Sports Injuries
Always be mindful of proper training practices. By taking the necessary precautions, you can help prevent the risk of injuries.
Select an activity that is appropriate for your current level of fitness. Begin slowly. Ensure you warm up first and then warm down with stretches afterward to reduce the risk of injury. Here are some of the tips to reduce the risk of sports injuries:
- Warm up before any sports activity. It will make your muscles more flexible.
- Learn the proper way of playing the sport you are participating in.
- Start slow and gradually increase the intensity of the sport. Don’t rush or force yourselves into a sport that has just been picked up.
- Always wear protective and well-fitting equipment for each sport including footwear.
- Ensure that you have a well-balanced diet to nourish your body.
- Take in adequate fluid before, during and after the sports activity to prevent injuries from dehydration.
- Take breaks in between practice or playing sports.
- Cooling down after exercising or participating in any sports activity is as important as warming up.
- Rest well to avoid injuries due to fatigue.
Following precautions can help reduce risks. If you still feel that something isn’t right, back off. Consult a professional Physical Therapist before continuing with the exercise or any intense physical activity. The physical therapists at Optimum Rehab have hands-on experience treating sports injuries. So, proceed with the sound advice to stay fit longer.
Treatment for Sports Injuries
If you get injured, the main aim should be to control the bodies inflammatory response. The first course of action is to reduce swelling, pain and blood flow. This can best be remembered with the acronym, RICE.
Rest – Rest is particularly important at this stage in order not to worsen the injury and to prevent further damage. Stop the activity right away!
Ice – Apply a cold pack or bag of ice to the injured area as soon as possible until the swelling is gone. Ensure you don’t apply ice directly to the skin.
Compression – Bandage the injury firmly but not so tightly to reduce swelling.
Elevation – Elevate the injured part of your body at heart level or above to prevent additional swelling and pain.
Still, following this method will work for minor injuries and not major ones. So, if you don’t feel well, consult a professional. In the case of sports injuries, consulting a physical therapist would always be the better choice.
Don’t be side-lined by injury, contact us today for Physical Therapy treatment for Sports Injury and get back to the sport you love.