General Prevention of Athletic Injuries


General Prevention of Athletic Injuries

Develop a fitness plan that includes cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility. This will help decrease your chance of injury. Alternate exercising different muscle groups and exercise every other day. Cool down properly after exercise or sports. 

Discussion has already been given on some injuries stating their causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention techniques and measures. Some principles and safety measures have also been mentioned in some other areas of the work, as ways of trying to minimize or prevent athletic injuries. Here is yet some general prevention of athletic injuries that could be used in sports.  

In this article, you will be able to define and explain the key terms, List the possible preventive ways in athletic injuries, explain the listed ways or techniques of athletic injuries and apply them to their practice or participation in sports.


Different Techniques for the Prevention of Athletic Injuries

General Prevention of Athletic Injuries

Some injuries may present same symptoms, same causes only perhaps the source or the affected part might be different. So also, there are same preventive approaches that could be applied to different kind of injuries.

The following are some general factors that might be considered, in the process of preventing accidents falling, trauma to the body tissues or any other situation that exposes causes of injury to the athlete;

1. Warm-up/Cool down

2. Improper or Lack of Physical Fitness

3. Improper Timing

4. Inadequate nutrition and fundamental process

5. Muscular Imbalance

6. Poor Neuromuscular Coordination

7. Availability and Utilization of Protective wears or equipment.

8. Psychological readiness

9. Lack of incomplete adherence to proper instructions.

Let us look into details

Warm-Up/Cool Down: This is the act or process of toning up or preparing the body for a task or training ahead, usually nor more than 15 min and not less than 10 min, depending on the mains task, some may last for only 5 min. There are two types of Warm-Up:

i. General – This starts the process.

ii. Specific – Which localize the warm to the organs or parts of the body to be involved in the task ahead. The efficacy of warm acts as a stimulant to the body, i.e calling the body to be alert or ready for the main task in the training programme.

The function of Warm-up is to prepare the body physiologically, mechanically, emotionally and mentally. Warm-up should start with 5 min jogging exercise, 3 min of sprints exercise, 2 min of lifting or jumps activities, 5 mins for stretching and flexibility exercises, especially, involving the muscles that will mostly use for the task ahead.

After the stretching, some specific drills of sports skills to be used should include done very brief both at low and high intensity.

Warm-Up helps drastically in minimizing injuries especially at the first 30 mins or play in the main task. Cool down or rub-down, as otherwise known is done at the end of the main task. It is characterized with exercises that purposely aimed at slowing down the body organs into rest after such a vigorous task.

The importance of this is not doing allow a drastic slowdown of the body, especially the physiological and musculature of the athlete’s body. This will prevent muscles Spasm and Cramps injuries, which could be very devastating to the athlete’s corner.

Conditioning or Physical Fitness: The differences between this and warm-up/cool down is, while warm-up prepare by a way of stimulating the body to the incoming task, Conditioning is building and getting the body to be adapted to task proper.

Also, the task in warm-up/cool down could be both the training and competition, but conditioning, will always proceed from a warm-up. As already mentioned, Conditioning is building of the athlete’s body to be tough, strong and fit with much desired strength, endurance, coordination, flexibility and agile, also the skills of performance in the athlete’s sport.

This requires much more time and commitment both in resources and sacrifices. A body that is not conditioned or property condition to a given task will be prone to lots injuries, physical, psychological and mental injuries, and waste resources. There is a serious need to always condition the body, for it pays in the preparation to avoid the embarrassment of injuries and loss resources.

Improper Timing: The consideration here is in terms of; Visibility, weather or climatic consideration hostile environment etc. It could also, be a time of imbalance emotions, or immediately after meal consumption. All of which could result to physical, emotional or mental injuries etc.

Nutritional Status

The body that is not well fed, is already an impoverish in fitness and performance. Hence, the body must be well fed normally with a balance diet, generally with energy giving food, carbohydrates body building (Proteins) lubricants (Oil or Fats).

Also fruits and vegetable for minerals and vitamin for normally health. Some sports require some sort of foods depending on the calorie consumptions. This is important for helping the body to always function at full capacity and ability.

Besides, nutrition supplies the need fuel and normal body temperature, without which the body might be injured when stretched or engaged in a task that it is not prepared for.

Muscular Imbalance: This is a condition resulting from conditioning of the body. When the body is un-technically or improperly or improperly conditioned, where by some muscles are trained and some not or improperly trained, or it might even be overtraining or under training of some or the whole-body muscles to be involve in a task is such adequately prepared, etc.

Neuromuscular Coordination: Communication between the body nervous system and the muscular system may hamper the ability of the body to perform as expected. This could either be as a result of diseases or condition’s or genetically or even accidentally acquired proper condition under/ can help to improve the inability of the neuromuscular function properly to avoid injuries in athletics.

Wears and Protective Equipment: Wears a Pads, and other Equipment or gargets are specially made for the prevention and protection of some body organs during play in sports. This on most occasion have proved very helpful and commitment to use. When used according to directives, it will be encouraging and advisable.

Adherence to Instruction: This is another way of preventing or minimizing athletic injuries. Following laid down rules and regulations or instruction in the performance of some sports will help to minimize prevent injuries and lack.

Some Specific injuries have been discussed and prevention techniques and principles have been stated in the body of this work. However, there are some general principles to be considered in the approach to injury prevention.

Some injuries present same kinds of symptoms with other injuries and their prevention approach is also same or almost same. However, the following principles will help generally in the prevention or reducing the impact of sports injuries:

· Lack or inadequate of warn up cool down.

· Lack of physical fitness

· Improper timing

· Inadequate nutrition and fundamental process

· Muscular imbalance

· Poor neuromuscular coordination

· Psychological readiness

· Lack of following instructions

Physical Rehabilitation Literally, the word Rehabilitate may mean to ‘restore back to use or ‘bring back to use’. Here in first aid and sports injuries, it is the application of physical therapy following illness or injuries to restore optimal health and functions to an individual (Clover, 2001).

Following injuries or illness, the athlete may be laid off to allow healing through a therapeutic process, after which the athlete is expected to go through the period of ‘Rehabilitation’.

The professionals involve in physical rehabilitation include; the physician, physical therapist, athletic trainer, fitness instructor, physical therapist assistant, physical therapist aide, the patient’s family, the teammates and the patient.

Physical rehabilitation is the period of recovery preceded from the period of therapeutic rehabilitation which have been discussed. The physical rehabilitation, also known as “rehab” is handle by a team of professionals as listed above. This is to enhance normal restoration of the athlete to another time of top fitness performance, after the injuries laid off.

Phases of Physical Rehabilitation Successful rehabilitation are a complex process that may be short or long, depending on the severity of the injury and the degree of function that must be regained. Other variables, such as the type of health insurance, access to care, speed and quality of care, degree of motivation and preexisting conditions may also influence the length and success of the rehabilitation programme.

Therefore, each rehabilitation programme is unique; however, the healing process is universal. There are three phases of healing that must take place in order for the patient to resume his or her pre-injuries activates, the plan and damage resulting from the injury must be repaired; and finally, the now healthy tissue must be built up again. Nearly all physical rehabilitation programme can be thought or in terms of these phases.

Phase I: Begins immediately after the injury has occurred. The main purpose of this phase is to prevent additional injury to the tissue by controlling inflammation.

Phase II: Begins the process of repairing the damaged tissues. Strength and ROM are increased under controlled conditions to prevent re-injury, ideally.

Phrase III: Involves returning the patient to the activity (sport, work and activities of daily living) that he or she was involved with prior to the injury. The patient learns how to reuse the area to its maximum potentials without fear of injury. It is important to note, however, that full return to the former activity is not always possible. Sometimes the severity of the injury makes it necessary to teach the patient how to compensate for losses in strength or motion by modifying the way in which his or her activities of daily living are performed, with the understanding that full recovery is not likely.


Guidelines for all phases of rehabilitation

Certain precautions must always be observed as the patient progresses through each phase of rehabilitation. These precautions include:

1. Monitor any type of increase in edema or pain

2. Advise each patient of the need to regain strength, but emphasize the importance of building up slowly; be sure that patients work to a level that is just below their capacity to avoid additional pain and injury.

3. Remove the limitations of daily activities with each patient

4. Make sure each patient understands how to perform his or her home exercise properly. The simple way the patient can understand the three phase is that phase are the patient utilizes ‘passive’ exercises (control inflammation) mostly as the injury is likely to still be painful with is limited strengthening ability. Phase II (repair) utilizes active exercises to increase strength building capacity and phase III (remodel) is a combination of passive as active exercises with lots of variation and variables that will help the patient to gain move strength, flexibility and speed.

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