7 Future Injury Prevention Tips

Nearly 3.5 million children and teens suffer an injury from playing sports each year. Many athletes do not take the proper steps to keep themselves from becoming injured and will push through the pain even after they hurt themselves.

It is essential to your health and safety to do what you can to prevent injuries as well as know how to take care of yourself if one occurs.

Here are just a few of the most useful tips for injury prevention.

1. Warm Up and Cool Down Properly

The first step to preventing injury is to properly warm up your muscles before every workout, game, or practice. Warming up helps to increase the blood flow to your muscles and gets them ready for more intense activity.

You will want to take 5-10 minutes to complete a dynamic warmup. A dynamic warmup is best to do at the beginning of your exercise as it mimics movements you’ll do during your workout. These include movement-based stretches such as lunges, squats, and high-knees.

After your workout, you will want to complete some static stretches to lengthen and loosen your muscles. Static stretches are held for a long time and are important to your flexibility and recovery.

2. Take Time Off

Many athletes pride themselves on working out intensely every single day. In reality, however, it is important to take time off for your body to properly recover and repair the muscle fibers that are torn during intense exercise.

Taking a rest day or an active rest day is important to letting your body heal and replenish its energy stores so you are ready for your next workout or game. It is also important to get enough sleep every night. A good night’s rest allows you to think clearly and react quicker than you might with a lack of sleep.

3. Train Effectively

Besides warming up and cooling down, it is important to create a training schedule that works for your specific needs and lifestyle. Make sure you are properly training the muscles you use during your sport, but also giving them a break and training other muscle groups.

For example, if you play soccer, you may think you need to dedicate all of your time to training your legs and glutes. However, it is essential to also prioritize upper body training to balance out your muscles.

4. Treat Any Injuries ASAP

If you suffer from an injury, then seek treatment immediately. Physical therapy is a great option to help you restore movement, reduce pain, and prevent future injury.

If you don’t seek the proper treatment, then you risk making an injury worse and being out of the game for an even longer period. The sooner you get help for an injury, the sooner you can get back to playing.

5. Don’t Push Through the Pain

Many athletes have the mindset of “pushing through the pain,” but this can be very dangerous. Trying to push through the pain will only increase your risk of injury.

Don’t ignore aches and pains, especially if they seem to be getting worse or don’t go away after a few days. Also, if you are incredibly sore or you are experiencing pain, then consider taking a day off of training or working out for a few days so your body can properly recover.

6. Follow a Healthy Diet

One of the most important parts of being a successful athlete is learning how to fuel your body correctly. Eating enough of the right types of food is essential to your overall health and fitness levels.

Athletes typically need to eat more than the average person to fuel their intense workouts. Female teen athletes need around 2,200-3,000 calories per day, while males need 3,000-4,000. Athletes in multiple sports may need up to 5,000 calories per day to support their needs.

It is critical to make sure these calories comprise the right kind of food. Make sure you are eating whole foods and getting in enough protein, carbs, and fats. Protein is especially important for athletes to prioritize, as it is helpful to keep you full and build muscle.

7. Wear Proper Protective Equipment

One important preventative measure you can take is to wear the proper protective equipment that is required for your sport. Make sure you have a good pair of supportive shoes if you are on your feet a lot.

If you have the option to wear pieces such as mouth guards, shinguards, padding, or helmets, then do so. Many athletes opt-out of this equipment if it is possible, but wearing it can save you from a major injury.

When to See a Doctor for a Sports Injury

Many athletes are unsure of when they should seek help for their injuries or pain. These are the signs that you should check in with a doctor or other medical professional:

  • Your symptoms do not go away with a few days of rest
  • Your pain gets worse
  • There is visible swelling or bruising
  • Injuries get better and then come back again quickly
  • Painful popping or cracking when exercising
  • Inability to fully move a joint
  • Numbness in any joint or muscle
  • Pain that disrupts sleep
  • Pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or fever

Follow Our Tips for Injury Prevention Today

It is incredibly important to follow the proper steps for injury prevention. Keeping your mind and body in good condition is essential to being a successful athlete.

If you are an athlete with a current injury or history of injuries, contact us today to explore our different treatment options.