Preventing Sports Injuries

Sports injuries might seem unavoidable but athletes need to remember thatprevention is better than cure. Here are a few tips on how sportspersonscan avoid injuries and prevent damage to their bones, joints, muscles andligaments:

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  • Learn the correct technique to play the sport of your choice under atrained person. This can help minimise the risk of injury
  • Do warm ups and general stretching exercises, plus stretchingexercises specific to your sport, before the game begins. Researchshows that a heated muscle is less likely to be strained and stretchingexercises help improve your flexibility. Start slowly and build up to amore brisk and energetic pace
  • Wear the right protective gear and ensure it is in excellent conditionbefore every game. Ill-fitting helmets, gloves, shoes etc can lead toserious injuries, especially in contact sports like rugby, football etc
  • Know your body limit and take care not to over-exert yourself. Pain inyour joints, for example, is a sign that you should cut back on youractivity. Avoid exercise when you are tired or in pain
  • A cool down period is crucial after every game. The cool-downprocess allows your heart rate to return to its normal pace. It will alsolet your muscles recover steadily from physical activity
  • Maintain good hydration to minimise cramps and ensure adequatesleep. Drinking sufficient water will help prevent dehydration,exhaustion, and heat stroke and keep fatigue and stress away
  • Adequate relaxation and unwinding oneself between trainingsessions is also important

Post-injury care

Once injured, athletes should avoid self-medication and self-treatment andshould immediately seek the help of a qualified medical professional. Mostinjuries are amenable to treatment, and with competent management,normal anatomic and biologic functionality of the joint can be regained tothe satisfaction of the player.

Dr. Nijith O Govindan (BPT, MBBS, MS Orthopaedics)

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
Lakshmi Group of Hospitals, Cochin, Kerala, India – 682 016
Phone: 9475601731