Stay in the Game by Learning These Tips for Preventing a Sports-Related Injury

Stay in the Game by Learning These Tips for Preventing a Sports-Related Injury

Exercise and athletics may be good for the body and mind, but they can also leave you vulnerable to injury. Fortunately, whether you are a professional or weekend warrior, you can protect yourself from sports-related injuries.

Dr. Edward R. Dupay, Jr. brings over 30 years of medical expertise to people in Fort Myers, Florida. At Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida, Dr. Dupay works to treat and prevent sports-related injuries so that his patients can maintain their healthy, active lifestyles.

If you play sports or exercise regularly, Dr. Dupay recommends taking these steps to avoid injury.

Don’t skip your warm-up

No one likes to wait, especially for something they enjoy. However, cold muscles are easier to injure, so it’s crucial to warm up properly before a workout, even if your exercise involves brisk walking.

To avoid injury, spend 5-10 minutes gently warming up your body. You should tailor your warm-up to your sport or exercise, but they could include small stretches, shoulder rolls and knee lifts, or walking at a slow and easy pace.

Similarly, at the end of physical activity, spend 5-10 minutes with gentle exercises to help your body cool down.

Pace yourself

Whether you’re a sports aficionado or a weekend warrior, you have to train for your activity. Otherwise, you put yourself at increased risk of injury.

To get yourself in peak condition, Dr. Dupay suggests:

You should also follow a conditioning program designed specifically for your sport.

Use the right tools

Some activities need more gear than others. However, even sports you perform alone — like running — require the right equipment to avoid injury.

Before you head to the gym or onto the field, make sure you have the right tools, including:

Wearing the right gear when you train or play sports helps reduce your chances of injuries, ranging from overuse injuries and strains or sprains to dislocations and fractures.

Practice proper technique

One of the easiest things to overlook with physical activity involves technique. After all, how important is form if you’re tackling someone during a football game or hitting the track for a quick mile run?

Believe it or not, every sport has a right and wrong way of doing things. And, you guessed it, the wrong way can increase your chances of getting hurt. That’s right — football players learn how to tackle people a certain way to avoid head injuries, and a runner’s form can improve their speed and prevent overuse injuries.

Dr. Dupay can offer guidance on why proper technique matters based on your specific activity and how to improve your form.

Stop if it hurts

Last but not least, stop if it hurts! Pain is your body’s way of telling you there is a problem, so don’t ignore the symptoms. 

People, especially athletes, often think they should power through the pain. However, discomfort can impact your form, putting you at risk of additional injuries. Plus, if you have an injury but continue playing in spite of it, you can make the problem worse.

Instead, take a break and work with a specialist to identify potential problems. Then, they can help you resume activity safely to avoid additional injury.

Do you have a sports injury or want to avoid one in the future? Contact Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida to schedule a sports medicine consultation by calling 239-768-2272 today. 

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