Injury Prevention Tips for Athletes
- by Stephen Touhey
As an athlete, your body is your instrument and it’s important to keep yourself finely tuned in order to avoid injury.
There are two different types of injuries athletes are at high risk for. One is an acute, which generally means the injury happened because of a single event. A broken bone or sprain are examples of acute injuries.
The other is an overuse injury, which means it is the result of repetitive events. These are tougher to diagnose and include things like tennis elbow and shin splints.
Accidents can always happen, but there are plenty of injury prevention tips for athletes to reduce their risk.
So, how can athletes prevent injuries?
1.Keep your body conditioned
Make sure to keep up your conditioning year-round to prevent muscle strain after long periods without athleticism. Adding in strength training and playing a different sport in your off season are great ways to stay conditioned, while also preventing overuse injuries.
2.Make sure to take rest days
Sports are a great way to get your exercise in, but it’s important to remember that your body can’t repair itself unless you allow it to rest and recover. If you don’t, you might end up with an overuse injury.
According to Pete McCall, CSCS, and ACE-certified personal trainer, a rest day means only doing 60% to 70% of your maximum effort. Slowing down, but not staying sedentary, keeps your blood moving and allows waste to be carried out of your muscles.
3.Always take the time to stretch before and after practice
Stretch your muscles and do some light jogging to warm your muscles up before you start going hard. Without the proper warm-up to loosen up your muscles, you’re putting your body at risk of injury. Stretching during your cool-down will also aid in recovery.
4. Drink enough water
Besides the fact that your body can’t reach peak performance if you’re dehydrated, you’re also at a higher risk of cramps if you’re dehydrated. The more you sweat out, the more you need to drink.
5. Always wear your safety equipment
There’s a reason your coach urges you to wear all your safety gear and it’s certainly not because you maneuver more gracefully in them. Helmets, pads, shoes, cups, and mouth guards are there to prevent injury. If safety equipment is involved in your sport, then it means there’s a high risk of injury to that area of your body. Wear the gear. It’s the smart thing to do.
I still got injured. Now what?
If you’re in pain, stop! It’s important to see your doctor to find out what’s wrong. You don’t want to cause permanent damage.
After the doctor has examined you and come up with a course of action, here are a few pain relieving tips to try.
● Epsom salt bath - Although there’s no studies directly linking epsom salt to pain relief, it’s a remedy that’s been around for hundreds of years. Those who take them know they work, but there seems to be a lack of funding for studies.
● Ice & Elevate - Ice the affected area and elevate the whole limb. Make sure to put a towel between your skin and the ice to prevent frostbite. Ice for 10-15 minutes every hour for best results.
● BioActivate Pain Relief Patch - Created using an approach from quantum physics, these little patches deliver powerful pain relief. They work with your body’s natural energy field to melt away your pain using frequency.
● Acupuncture - Very thin needles are placed in specific points on the body to regulate life force energy, known as qi. Though this is a form on Chinese medicine, it is becoming accepted more in the United States and it has shown promising results in studies
Self-Development, Meditation, & Yoga - Focusing your attention during these activities activates the calming part of your nervous system, called the parasympathetic nervous system. It relieves stress, which decreases pain in athletes