With the shift in season comes a change in the sports we play, which means an adjustment in the types of sports injury we can have. Spring sports injury prevention is important knowledge for all athletes and parents of athletes to have. Taking steps to prevent a spring sports injury will allow you to spend more time enjoying your favorite sports and less time seeking medical treatment.
We do not want you sidelined because of a spring time sports injury. Read the information below to learn some techniques that will help ensure injury-free fun.
Check Sports Equipment
It is a good idea to check all of your equipment before using it. You will want to check bats and helmets for cracks or splintering, cleats, and gloves, making sure everything fits correctly and is broken in to avoid blisters or sores. Equipment and protective gear that is not in good condition can lead to injury. Examining your equipment at the start of the season and before each use is a simple step you can take to prevent injuries.
Is the Field Right for Running?
Running up and down a field that has not been inspected is prime for tripping in or stepping on something that may cause a foot or ankle injury. It is important to walk the field and look for debris, divots or uneven surfaces. Remove or fix any field imperfections to decrease the risk of ankle sprains, ACL tears, or other types of injuries that may be a consequence of a sudden stop or fall.
Prep for Season Shift
It can be tempting to run headfirst into spring sports activities, but to help prevent injury you will want to start slowly. In the months leading up to your season, engage in conditioning, training, or other fitness activities geared towards spring sports.
Do Not Shoulder the Cool Down & Warm-Up
Many kinds of sports-related injuries are caused by not properly warming up and cooling down. It is easy to forget about cooling down, but light stretching after strenuous activity helps keep the muscles loose and prevents strains. A proper cool down also helps with muscle recovery and regulating blood flow.
Warming up before activities helps prepare your cardiovascular system by increasing the blood flow to your muscles and raising body temperature, which can lessen a strain or injury while playing sports.
We all know hydration is important for many reasons. Being well hydrated regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints and prevents the gruesome symptoms of dehydration such as headaches and muscle cramps. Drinking enough fluids helps the heart pump blood more easily and allows your muscles to work more efficiently. The American Heart Association recommends drinking a pint of water per pound of sweat you lose.
Stick to Proper Techniques
Another great way to prevent a sports injury is learning proper techniques and performing them correctly. Many injuries in the shoulders, legs, feet, and arms are caused by bad form. The risk of injury is compounded when an improper technique is repetitive. It is important to ask your coach or someone with more experience in the sport to teach and demonstrate proper techniques.
Wear Safety Gear
While some people may dislike wearing knee pads, helmets, and other protective gear, it is an easy way to lower the risk of an injury. Whether you are enjoying spring activities like biking, baseball, soccer, cycling, skateboarding, or rollerblading, you will want to protect whatever part of the body is at risk by wearing appropriate safety gear that fits you well. It may not always look the best or be the most comfortable, but it can save your life if a serious accident or collision occurs.
When Injuries Occur
The best way to prevent a sports injury from becoming worse is to consult a doctor when you feel something is wrong. You may consider seeking care from a physician who specializes in the bones, joints, and muscles used in sports activities, also known as a sports medicine physician. At Proliance Puget Sound Orthopaedics, we provide best-in-class orthopedic care to our community with compassion, caring, and dedicated expertise to healing sports-related injuries.
Even if you take all the necessary steps to avoid injury, preventative actions can only do so much. If you are in serious pain or want to learn how you can speed up your recovery process, the sports medicine physicians and podiatrists at Puget Sound Orthopaedics are here to help.