Regular participation in sports does carry some risk of injury. Sports injuries can be divided into acute injuries caused by direct impact such as a collision with another player or landing awkwardly, and chronic injuries caused by overuse of muscles and joints. The following tips will help minimize the risk of injury and help avoid common sports injuries:
- Warm up methodically: A good warm up should include light cardiovascular exercise such as jogging on the spot and range of motion exercises involving the same muscles that will be used in the sporting activity. This improves blood circulation to the muscles and tendons, and increases flexibility.
- Use proper sports equipment: Using the right padding, gloves and head gear is particularly important in case of contact sports. You should also use a good pair of sports shoes that protect and support your feet reducing the risk of a twisting injury to your ankle.
- Practice the right technique: Learning the correct techniques while practicing your chosen sport will help minimize risk of injury. You are less likely to pull a muscle or strain your back when using correct form while swinging a golf club, throwing a ball, or landing from a jump.
- Always keep yourself well hydrated: You tend to lose a lot of water through perspiration when performing vigorous physical activity. To prevent risk of dehydration, drink plenty of water before, during, and after sports participation.
- Cool down: After your game or sporting activity, spend about 5-10 minutes letting your body gradually cool down with some light activity such as walking and gentle stretching. This allows for the removal waste products of metabolism and brings in oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.
Despite the above precautions, if you do get injured while playing, stop your activity and rest until the pain has subsided. Do not try to play through the pain. If the pain persists for more than a couple of days, you should visit a doctor as what seems like a minor sprain may in fact be a bone fracture!
Dr. Domb is a nationally recognized orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery of the hip, shoulder and knee. A noted pioneer in advanced new techniques in hip arthroscopy, he delivers innovative treatments for patients with hip injuries such as impingement and labral tears. Dr. Domb is also an expert in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee, adept in specialized techniques including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and all-inside ACL reconstruction.