Tips for Beginner Athletes: How to Prevent Injuries and Strains

No matter if you play sports for competition or for the sake of staying fit, the fact is that you should do everything you can to prevent potential sports injuries. Of course, time away from the game is definitely what you want to avoid, so be sure to take appropriate preventative action in order to make that happen. First of all, you should be in proper physical condition to play a particular sport, simply because you can’t expect the sport itself to get you into shape. Besides that, you should always obey specific rules of the sport, as these are designed to keep the participants safe and unharmed. Wearing appropriate equipment and protective gear is another essential aspect of injury prevention, so get a helmet, gloves, a mouth guard, and protective pads – depending on the sport you’re playing. You should also know that warming up before playing is an absolute must, as well as allowing your body to properly rest and recover after an intense game or a workout. So, if you want to learn about the most common sports injuries most beginner athletes are likely to experience, as well as how to prevent those injuries, just stay with us and keep on reading!

What are top 5 sports injuries and how to prevent them?

Here are top 5 sports injuries and tips on how to successfully prevent them, so check them out:

Sprains and strains

A large number of beginner athletes are likely to experience some kind of sprain or strain, as these injuries are quite common when it comes to playing sports that involve jumping, running, and using their shoulders, but you shouldn’t worry at all because there are ways to prevent them. First of all, you should know that numerous injuries fall into this category, including bicep tendinitis, sprained ankles, shoulder injuries, and strained hamstrings and groin muscles. Amy McGorry, a certified manual physical therapist who holds a doctorate in physical therapy claims sport injuries of this kind can be kept at bay if you strengthen your muscles thanks to a good flexibility regimen. Such a regimen includes both concentric (aka muscle-shortening) and eccentric (aka muscle-lengthening) programs, which will prepare your muscles for any potential problem that may result in an injury. Of course, it can be said that ankle injuries are the most common ones among beginner athletes, and the first thing you should do is to opt for comfortable and supportive shoes that may reduce the risk of getting injured. Besides that, you can always wrap your ankle or wear a supportive brace during a physical activity, which is particularly important for exercises where injury is a real risk.

Knee injuries

Knee injuries are definitely the second most common sports injuries that may occur no matter if you’re a beginner at a particular sport or a professional athlete. The fact is that these can be quite agonizing, as we were witnesses to terrible knee injuries that forced experienced athletes to take some time away from the game. Needless to say, there are ways to prevent these, too, and McGorry claims that strengthening your glutes, quads, and hamstrings can be really beneficial if you want to give your best to keep your knees healthy and unharmed. She also states that a strong hamstring can prevent the shinbone from coming forward, while strong glutes can help the way your thighbones roll in, so be sure to work on these in the first place and you’ll significantly reduce the risk of experiencing knee injuries.

Back injuries

Speaking of common sports injuries, we simply have to mention back injuries, too. These are usually linked to activities like running and sports like tennis and golf, but you should know that warming up before the actual activity is one of the safest ways to prevent any kind of back injury. For example, golf players should start with stretching before they start playing golf, as it will help the hip, torso, and shoulder regions, as well as the hamstring muscles. Apart from that, low back pain can be prevented if you practice swinging before playing, as it will help you achieve a smooth swing that produces less stress on your back. On the other hand, novices at working out often make a big mistake by wanting to develop their abs only, as their back will inevitably suffer and they’re likely to experience some kind of back injury. McGorry says that strength training in combination with a good flexibility program can make a huge difference, as well as focusing on multifidus muscles which surround the vertebrae in your back. This is one of the best ways to carve your abs while avoiding back injuries, but if you still manage to hurt your back, you should know that applying ice is one of the best injury treatments you can go for. Do it for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days, and it will help you reduce pain and swelling.

Concussions

Being bumped or hit and receiving a blow to the head can sometimes result in a concussion, which usually occurs when a person experiences a traumatic brain injury. However, you should know that it can also occur after you experience a blow to the body, but only if it causes your head to move back and forth hard enough. This is the most common injury when it comes to sports like football, soccer, boxing, and hockey, and the best way to avoid concussion is wearing a helmet. Apart from that, you should also pay extra attention to strengthening your neck and upper back muscles, as these can provide enough support and act as a cushion when a hit or a blow happens. Needless to say, strong muscles can prevent the displacement of your head and therefore stop your brain from being knocked around, which is exactly what you should go for. However, if you manage to get your head injured, remember that the most common symptoms of mild concussions include headache, dizziness, and temporary memory loss. If your experience these, make sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Shin splints

Stepping up your current workout routine and giving new sport a try can often result in shin splints, which are among the most common sports injuries as well. These can be described as a pain inside of your shin, but you don’t have to worry at all because it is nothing more than just inflammation of the muscle that surrounds your shinbone. You should also know that it’s quite easy to avoid, and the first step is wearing the right shoes. Yes, we know that it sounds way too simple, but that’s how it is – appropriate footwear is all you need, and it’ll definitely make a huge difference. Stretching your calves is also a must, as well as working them both concentrically and eccentrically. Aside from these, you can also opt for some gentle foot exercises which can strengthen your feet and help you avoid shin splints.

As you can see, there are a lot of useful tips on how to prevent some of the most common injuries and strains, and you should definitely take them into consideration if you’re a beginner athlete. Besides these, there are also some general rules you should follow, too, and once that’s done, you can be sure that you did everything you could to stay safe and unharmed during a sports game or a workout!

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