Sports Injury Prevention
Whatever sport you participate in, there are many actions that you can take to make sure that you are as safe as possible while you play. We encourage you to remain injury free at whatever level you play your sport.
Amateur athletes of all ages participate in sports for exercise and enjoyment, while professional athletes play competitively. For all, sports can be physically demanding, requiring agility and flexibility. Some sports put a strain on your upper body, some on your lower body, while other sports affect the entire body as you play. As a result, players of all levels are at risk for injuries.
Sports Injury Prevention Tips
To help you avoid injuries on the fields, courts, and tracks where you play, our team of sports medicine experts at Mount Sinai Health System have compiled the following recommendations.
- Maintain flexibility. It is extremely important that you do dynamic stretches before starting your activity. Cold muscles are more prone to injury, so, while it may be tempting to start playing immediately, you should take a few minutes to do some jumping jacks, butt kicks, or arm circles first.
- Strengthen your core. A strong core improves your balance and stability, which is crucial in all sports and can help you avoid injury. Exercises that strengthen the core include abdominal crunches and planks.
- Abdominal crunches involve lying on your back and putting your feet on a wall so that your knees and hips make a 90-degree angle with your legs. Then, raise your head and shoulders off the floor, and hold that position for a few seconds.
- A plank entails holding your body in a push-up position, with your weight on your forearms and toes
- Use proper technique. Knowing how to play your sport correctly is essential to playing well and to protecting yourself from injury. An instructor can help you learn how. It helps to:
- Balance your body weight without over-extending your arms, legs, or your back.
- Use proper footwork to help you avoid injuries to the ankle and the Achilles tendon.
- Play with the proper equipment for your size and ability.
- Take time to rest. Playing any sport for too long without a break will cause your muscles to be overused, which increases the chances of your being injured.
- Ensure proper healing of a previous injury. To avoid reinjuring yourself, check with your doctor to make sure that your injury has recovered fully, and you are clear to resume playing.