Anyone who plays sports knows that sustaining an injury is inevitable. Slips and slides that result in broken bones or torn muscles seem unavoidable; even professional athletes have an occasional fall that results in the end of their career. However, many sport injuries are completely avoidable, and professionals make sure that they are protected against many distinct types of accidents. Of course, not every accident is avoidable, but all accidents can be prevented through careful planning.
Strains and sprains are among the most common injuries in sports, caused by over-exerting and straining a muscle to the point of tearing. Naturally, this is incredibly painful and is guaranteed to put you on the side-lines for a short while. However, these injuries can be prevented with an easy warm up. Going straight into a movement-heavy activity increases the risk of a pulled muscle.4
Wearing the right equipment for your sport of choice is also incredibly important to prevent sport-related injuries. Activities such as paintball require that you use protective armor to defend against fast-moving projectiles. Upper and lower paintball body protection ensures that you are fully covered to minimize damage from being hit. You may still end up with a bruise, but it’s infinitely better than having a paintball break through the skin.
Severe Injuries Do Not Always End Careers
In professional sports, injuries are even more serious. Peyton Manning of NFL fame underwent numerous spinal cord surgeries during his time with the Indianapolis Colts in 2011 which resulted in him eventually being cut from the team entirely. He was then drafted into the Denver Broncos, and after a quick recovery, he was back to his old standard of play, even winning the Super Bowl in 2016.
Another severe injury that could have ended a career is Tiger Woods and the 2008 U.S. Open, where he suffered a broken tibia for the duration of the game. He played for five days with his but still ended up winning the championship against rival Rocco Mediate. Woods’ recovery demonstrates that you can achieve great things despite horrific injuries.
Prevent Accidents Before They Occur
However, it is rare that anyone will get injured to the extent of Woods or Manning if they play casually. Harvard has several tips to help avoid many common sports injuries, including stretching before and after any strenuous activity to prevent straining the muscles. Overuse of muscle groups is another way that an athlete can sustain considerable damage to tissues, and it is recommended that participants take a break if they feel fatigued.
There are two types of injury to look out for: acute and chronic injuries. According to the National Institute of Health, acute injuries are ones that are sustained during play but do not have any additional effects after they are healed. Examples of acute ones include, but are not limited to:
- Localized Swelling
Thankfully, acute ones can be treated fairly easily through home remedies or a quick visit to the doctor. On the other hand, chronic injuries are often the result of extended activity and last for a very long time. Pain and aches even during rest are signs of a chronic one.
Treating Your Injuries and Preventing Accidents
When they do happen, it is important to know how to treat them. If it is severe, such as a broken or dislocated bone, or if you have trouble putting weight on or moving the limb, it is imperative that you see a doctor right away. However, small ones such as bruises, twists, and sprains are best treated at home.
For treatments of already sustained injuries, remember PRICE:
- Protect against further damage to the muscle.
- Rest the injury as much as possible.
- Ice packs reduce swelling
- Compress it to reduce inflammation
- Elevate the injured area to encourage blood flow to the area.
Prevention even goes so far as to ensure that you minimize damage to your eyes. Wearing UV certified sunglasses that defend your eyes against harmful rays goes a long way to ensuring that you can partake in sports for the whole season.
Enjoy Longer Practice Sessions
Prevention is key to avoiding long-lasting sports injuries. Warm up before and after any physical activity to strengthen muscles and prevent strains. Wearing the right protective gear ensures that your bones stay intact and your skin doesn’t suffer serious harm. If minor injuries do occur, remember PRICE for your treatment, but do see a doctor if you experience long-lasting pain, broken bones, difficulty standing or weakness as a result of any sport-related injuries. With the proper measures in place, you can last the whole sports season without a single accident.