Many athletes know the devastating feeling of getting injured. Whether it is during the big game, a few too many reps, or at practice, it can be quite devastating to know you are unable to participate. Luckily, there are several preventative measures you can take to work on avoiding injury. Read on to learn more about playing defense against many common types of sports injuries.
No matter the level of play or number of years of experience you may have as an athlete in your sport, there is unfortunately always a risk of injury when participating in sports. In fact, the CDC reports that 8.6 million sports injuries occur each year, which when age-adjusted, is a rate of 34.1 per 1000 in the population of persons aged five to twenty-four. These are frightening statistics for athletes. Luckily, there are some activities and tricks you can do to lessen your risk and prevent injury from impeding your season.
What are some common sports injuries?
Each sport carries different risks and injuries that tend to be more common within them. For example, in swimming, strains and shoulder injuries are some of the more frequently experienced injuries. On the other hand, in a sport with a great deal of physical contact, such as football, fractures and concussions certainly run more rampant. Across all sports and levels of play, there are some injuries that are seen across the board, including the following:
- Strains. A strain, or a pulled muscle, is so common in sports because of the number of muscles and tendons sports work as opposed to everyday life.
- Sprains. Sprains, on the other hand, are the pulling of ligaments. Ankle, knee, and elbow sprains are some that occur more often than others.
- Fractures. Fractures, or the small breakage in a bone, can occur with a wrong landing on a body part or harsh impact.
- Shin splints. Shin splints, often seen in runners, can be the result of overtraining. They are a sharp pain that is felt in the shin area.
- Back pain. Back pain, especially in the lower back areas, is seen across many sports and is often a result of spinal misalignment, poor posture, or overall overworking of those areas.
- Concussion. Concussions are the result of a sudden impact to the head. They can result in loss of memory and even the loss of consciousness for some length of time.
How can you reduce your risk of sports injuries?
No one wants to spend a season or a year sitting out of their sport due to an injury. The good news is that there are several ways you may be able to prevent sports injuries, including the following:
- Stretch and warm up properly. Beginning your exercise with stretching and a proper warm-up will help ensure your muscles and joints are warm and prepared for the stress they are about to take on.
- Take breaks and regular time off. No matter the athlete’s level of competition, time off is important. All athletes, regardless of skill level or goals, need to take time off to allow the body to rest and recover.
- Wear the proper gear. Depending on your sport, an investment in the proper gear, such as a good helmet or proper running shoes, may prevent some injuries.
- Live a healthy lifestyle. Keeping injuries at bay takes a holistic approach. Ensure you are eating and sleeping well so that your body is fueled appropriately and therefore able to function at its best.
- Improve balance. Working on your balance can also lessen the risk of injury by reducing your fall risk, which goes up with age.
How can a chiropractor help your sports injuries?
In addition to living a healthy lifestyle, working on your balance, stretching, taking breaks, and wearing the proper gear, a chiropractor can support your injury prevention efforts. Some ways they can do this include:
- Manual adjustment of the spine. Chiropractors are famous for their spine manipulation abilities. This can affect a great deal of other body parts and mobilize areas that are underutilized.
- Resolving joint inflammation. Alignments can also support the reduction of joint inflammation, keeping you on the field or court.
- Other methods of relief. Chiropractors also utilize other methods of relief to supplement alignments, including ice, heat, or electric stimulation to treat and prevent injury.
- Assistance in stretching. These professionals can also aid in helping you learn how to stretch appropriately, further preventing injury.
Score an appointment with a sports injury professional
If you are looking to get professional support to prevent or treat a sports injury, we would love to meet with you. We look forward to working together with you to ensure you feel strong and healthy, both on and off the field.