The Olympics has finished, and what a thrilling two weeks it has been! So what better time to talk about sports injuries?
One of the first things any sportsperson must do it learn about injury prevention, especially if they plan on taking their sport to the higher levels of competition available. Without having basic knowledge of injury prevention it increases the chance of hurting oneself or causing a relapse of recovery for previous injuries which will, in time, hold you back from improving your skill level. That’s not to say all injuries can be prevented, but being educated and putting that knowledge in place you can reduce your risk of hurting yourself.
Here are a few pointers on how you can work towards preventing injury during training:
- Know your sport. Think about what your sport requires you to do; running, jumping, twisting? Identify which parts of the body are more likely to suffer strain during these movements then work on strengthening them to increase support around that joint or muscle group.
- Start slowly. This goes for pre-season training, returning from an injury or starting a new sport. If you go too hard, or even at a pace that you used to be able to cope with before a brief period of relief from exercise, you are at higher risk of hurting yourself. So start slow and build up your strength and stamina.
- Listen to your body. If it hurts STOP DOING IT. I don’t mean your muscles are aching and you’re out of breath, i mean if a certain movement is causing you pain then immediately stop your routine. Pushing through the pain could make it much worse. Take a rest day and assess whether your body just needed a day off or your need to see a medical professional.
- If you do see a medical professional then make sure you listen to and follow their advice. Yes, i’m afraid that does mean that you may need to take a few weeks off training to recover if advised, but in the long run you are allowing your body time to get back to optimal health so that your can train efficiently. Try not to view it as a set back, training through an injury will cause you more of a set back than 2 weeks without training!
- When you come back to training after an injury, make sure you use rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the area that had caused you pain, this will decrease your risk of injuring the same part of your body again.
For more information on specific sports, their common injuries and ways to help prevent injury in that sport or activity then please visit the Stop Sports Injuries website where you can find more detailed information.
If you are a sportsperson, coach, parent of an athlete or spend anytime near people who exercise then make sure you read this NHS guidelines on first aid for sports injuries and treatment while at home. This can be found on the NHS website.
If you think you’ve hurt yourself playing sport or exercising then please do give us a call at Body Foundation so that we can help to treat your injury then provide you with exercise advice and rehabilitation exercises post-treatment. We’re really friendly so don’t be shy!