Sport injuries that occur during routine exercise are some of the most avoidable injuries a player can face. The type of injuries that may occur during practice can happen instantly if a player suddenly twists the wrong way, causing a sprain, or in more rare cases completely pulling the muscle.
These injuries are often preventable. Top Los Angeles sports medicine doctor Dr. Raj is a proponent of injury prevention, however, when it does occur he offers comprehensive treatment options.
Some players have ever growing microtears that progressively become worse with each practice until finally tearing the muscle, if not rested. When the following procedures are properly followed, the chance of an injury can be greatly reduced.
Stretch Before Exercising
Stretching is a common place procedure is in any environment that has physical activity, whether it is a workplace or a practice field. Stretching prior to strenuous physical exertion is the single best way to avoid injuries, and should be performed before and after exercise. Stretching is targeted to the muscles that will be used during the activity, and it should consist of a slow gradual stretch until tension – not pain- is felt. Retain this briefly, typically for a count of 10, then release.
Doing this prior to exercise helps loosen the muscle groups that will be used in order to prevent injury through sudden muscle movement. Performing a cool-down stretch after physical activity helps to relax the muscle groups back to their resting state. Stretching these muscles after they have just been used helps prevent micro-tears from forming. This can prevent any number of injuries from occurring in the future.
Proper Muscle Conditioning
One of the best things a player can do for themselves to prevent injuries is to have the proper aerobic conditioning to maintain the high level of physical demand required during exercise or during a practice session. Aerobic conditioning is typically performed by maintaining any activity that increases your heart rate for a lengthy period of time. This is done commonly either on a treadmill or an exercise bike, and is a necessity to preventing injury.
Athletes who play their sport without this conditioning, and rely only on the physicality of the sport to shape their body are putting themselves at a huge risk, and are very likely to sustain injury. Initial conditioning should be a light routine such as jump rope or running in place. Maintain this light activity until your muscles are properly warmed up before moving onto the heavier exercises to prevent potential injuries.
Avoid Over-Working Your Body
The most common injuries are sustained from players who over-exert themselves without allowing their body time to rest. The point where soreness after a workout (which is common), becomes a nagging pain is the point at which a person is over-working their body.
Training regimes occurring on consecutive days are most often the cause of this, with the result being a greater potential for injuries every day the muscles are worked without having had time to recover. It is suggested a recovery period of 24-48 hours be taken after every intense workout to allow the muscles time to return to their full ability in order to prevent over-exertion injuries.
While many injuries may be prevented this way, there could be a small chance of one occurring as with any active program. Applying preventative strategies is a pro-active measure to minimize the potential of risk, and associated downtime, with common sports injuries.