People of all ages are heeding the advice to get active for the many benefits that exercise offers. It’s always great to get the heart pumping and the endorphins flowing. Being active and physically fit can seem like the healthiest thing for someone to do. However, being physically active increases the risk for injury and the statistics reported for injuries in all age groups are very high! Weekend warriors and amateur athletes are found to deal with some of the same injuries that professionals do. Studies find that typically there are over 2 million injuries in high school athletes a year – and more than half occur during practice. Endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain and can reduce the perception of pain. Injury can be more severe than initially perceived and so it is wise to not work through the pain as they say.
The phrase, “Practice smarter, not harder” is very relevant in preventing sports injuries. Keeping the body in balance and using proper form will always give better results both on and off the playing field. Also, preparing the body for the intensity of an activity and then bringing down the intensity slowly aids in the recovery process. Good advice is to stretch before and after, learn proper form and work to keep the form in place, use proper equipment, and rest if fatigue overcomes you.
Practice smarter, not harder and learn the best ways to avoid common injuries:
• Pulled Muscle • Runner’s Knee • Shoulder Impingement • Shin Splits • Tennis Elbow • Ankle Sprain • Achilles Tendinitis
Repetitive injuries are very common. Tennis players who repeatedly stress their forearm muscles may develop tennis elbow; runners whose shoes aren’t supportive enough may be plagued by shin splints or runner’s knee; baseball players who don’t work to strengthen their shoulder may find themselves with a shoulder impingement. Running is an essential element of many sports and it involves every muscle from the foot to the neck, putting particular strain on the legs and this leads to the most injuries.
Talk with a professional trainer for ways to increase your limits without causing injury. Most professional teams have a chiropractor to keep players in the game. See your chiropractor regularly to keep your body working at its peak potential. Use massage therapy for sports recovery and to improve circulation. Keep your body moving in a way that will bring lifelong benefits!