Straight, No Chaser: Avoiding Sports Injuries
When the world’s #1 ranked golfer completely ruptures the major part of his ankle’s supportive structure casually playing soccer, it’s time to start wondering if us normal folk have to start walking on egg shells. Today’s Straight, No Chaser means to tell you that isn’t at all the case.
Athletes are at risk for injuries for different reasons than weekend warriors. Although accidents happen to everyone, poor conditioning and training, propensities not to stretch or warm up, relatively poorer playing conditions, and use of inferior equipment (or lack of use of any at all) make your adventures a little more risky. Remember, it’s not that athletes are at greater risk; it’s that they are continually in the field of play, and this makes them have more opportunities to hurt themselves.
Straight, No Chaser has reviewed many common sports injuries. Links to some are listed below, and others you can read up on just by typing what you’re looking for into the search box on the right. The most common sports injuries include the following conditions.
- Sprains and strains, particularly ankle sprains
- Knee injuries
- Bruises (contusions) and other muscle injuries
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Rotator cuff injuries
Of course, the most common injuries aren’t all the rage. These days, everyone’s concerned about concussions. Here’s a Straight, No Chaser review of concussions.
Here are some tips to help you avoid sports injuries.
- Always warm up, regardless of the sport. It’s especially helpful to stretch the Achilles tendon, hamstring and quadriceps areas and hold the positions without a bouncing motion.
- Avoid bending knees past 90 degrees.
- Avoid twisting knees. This is best done by keeping your feet as flat as possible during stretches and running.
- If you’re jumping, land with your knees bent.
- Cool down following vigorous sports. You want your heart rate to come down gradually.
- Wear properly fitting shoes. You can avoid stress fractures and sprains by wearing shoes that provide shock absorption and stability.
- Avoid running on hard surfaces like asphalt and concrete. It’s preferable to run on softer, flat surfaces. Appreciate that running uphill may increase the stress on the Achilles tendon and the leg itself.
- Know when to stop.
We’ve discussed the RICE method of treating strains and sprains in the past. Make a habit of this for even minor ankle, knee, wrist, elbow and shoulder sprains. It helps with pain and swelling, and it also speeds recovery.
The weekend warrior is too often engaged in a testosterone fest and doesn’t listen to his or her body. If you get hurt, stop. If you don’t listen to your body, someone more serious could be on the verge of happening. Whether you’re a pro or just a weekend warrior, it’s good to know what you’re looking to avoid. Don’t let a sports injury sneak up behind you.
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