Staying active plays a crucial part in staying healthy as we age.
While many of us head to the gym to get our regular workouts in, some of us love to get a great sweat, stay active and fuel our competitive drives by playing sports. Sports are a great way to stay in shape, whether or not you play in a supervised league or in the park. While sports are great for building camaraderie with others and for maintaining the health of the body and mind, they can also be a common cause for a variety of different injuries.
What are the most common injuries?
Let’s take a look at a few of them, see what causes these injuries and how you can avoid them.
The most common sports injuries are categorized as either sprains or strains.
Sprains are injuries that occur to ligaments. Ligaments are short bands of fibrous, flexible yet extremely tough connective tissue that connect two different bones or cartilage in a joint. As a result of the fact that ligaments are located in joints, they are susceptible to a variety of different injuries caused by unnatural motions. When a ligament gets stretched past its normal limits during an awkward motion, it can become torn or deformed. This type of injury would constitute a sprain.
A strain is an injury that occurs in muscle fibers and/or tendons, which anchor and attach muscles down to bones. In an analogous manner to a sprain, a muscle or a tendon can get “strained” when they get stretched past their normal limits or are overused. This is why strained muscles are also known as “pulled” muscles.
The most common sports injuries are:
- Ankle sprains
- Hamstring strains
- Groin pulls or tears
- Shin splints
- Tennis elbow – also known as epicondylitis
- Knee injuries
- Ligaments tears are extremely common in the knee: namely ACL, MCL or LCL tears
- Patellofemoral syndrome – This common knee condition occurs when the kneecap regularly rubs against the femoral bone in the thigh and causes pain and discomfort.
What is the best way to avoid sports injuries?
If you play sports, there is really no foolproof way to completely avoid injuries. Often, injuries occur due to either lack of preparation or blind luck. There is not much we can do to control blind luck. However, there is plenty we can do to prepare ourselves for a session of playing sports to make sure that our body is as a ready as possible.
One of the best ways to prevent sports injuries is to make sure your body is conditioned for the physical activity that the sport requires. This is where a consistent workout regimen and maintenance of your body’s tissues and alignment through regular chiropractic care can help you avoid the injury bug from your favorite activities.
Make sure that before you engage in vigorous activities or workouts that you incorporate a gentle warm-up in your routine for at least ten minutes. A good warm-up helps make you more limber and flexible while increasing blood flow to your muscles and joints. These factors combined automatically make your body more resistant to most injuries. Also, make sure you avoid overuse injuries by paying close attention to your fatigue level and not pushing yourself past your limits. If you follow these steps consistently, you can avoid most sprains and strains quite easily.
Hopefully, this has been a brief yet informative guide to a variety of the most common sports injuries. If you have any sports injury concerns, want further clarification to this article or happen to be already nursing a sports injury and need the help of one of the top chiropractic centers in the Valley, please contact us any time at FIX24 Joint Biomechanics! Let’s get you back on your A-game, playing sports without pain!