What are the best ways to prevent sports injury?


What are the best ways to prevent sports injury?

In all forms of sports, be it individual, dual or team, the likelihood of injuries while engaging in sports activities cannot be rule out. Since injuries are likely to occur in any sport, it is, therefore, necessary to have knowledge of the prevention of sports injuries.

It is important to note that the sole aim of a good sportsman or woman should not be to injure or be injured in sports activities.

In the article, you should be able to know the best ways tips to prevent injury, explain how sports injuries can be prevented, state how using appropriate sporting clothes, footwear and equipment could help to prevent injuries and state the likely causes of cramps.


Tips to Prevent Sports Injury

1)  Take time off:  Plan to have at least 1 day off per week and at least one month off per year from training for a particular sport to allow the body to recover.

2) Wear the right gear.  Players should wear appropriate and properly fit protective equipment such as pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, and shin), helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and eyewear. Young athletes should not assume that protective gear will prevent all injuries while performing more dangerous or risky activities.

3) Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises during practice strengthens muscles used in play.

4) Increase flexibility. Stretching exercises after games or practice can increase flexibility. Stretching should also be incorporated into a daily fitness plan.

5) Use the proper technique. This should be reinforced during the playing season.

6) Take breaks. Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries and prevent heat illness.

7) Play safe. Strict rules against headfirst sliding (baseball and softball), spearing (football), and checking (in hockey) should be enforced.

8) Do not play through pain.

9) Avoid heat illness: by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or play; decrease or stop practices or competitions during high heat/humidity periods; wear light clothing.

10) If children are jumping on a trampoline: They should be supervised by a responsible adult, and only one child should be on the trampoline at a time; 75% of trampoline injuries occur when more than one person is jumping at a time.


Best ways to prevent of Sports Injuries

Sports injuries can be prevented or avoided if the following precautions are taking in the field of play.

What are the best ways to prevent sports injury?

Choice of Exercise Clothes

Your exercise clothing is more than a fashion statement; a smart choice of clothes can actually help you to prevent injuries. For some types of sporting activities, you need clothing that allows body heat to dissipate, e.g. light coloured nylon shorts and a mesh tank top while running in hot weather. 

For other types of sporting activities, you need clothing that retains body heat without getting you sweat-soaked e.g. layers of polypropylene and/or wool clothing while cross country skiing.


Appropriate Foot Wear

It is very important to look for several key components when you buy running sports shoes. Biomechanics research has revealed that running is a collision sport. That is, with each stride, the runner’s foot collides with the ground with a force three to five times the runner’s body weight.

The force not absorbed by the running shoe is transmitted upward into the foot, leg, thigh and back. Our bodies can absorb forces such as these but may be injured by the cumulative effects of repetitive impacts.

Therefore, the ability of running shoes to absorb shock is very critical. The midsole of any running shoe must absorb impact forces, but at the time must also be flexible. To check the flexibility of the midsole, hold the shoe between the index fingers of your right and left hand.

When you push on both ends of the shoe with your fingers, the shoe should bend easily at the midsole. But, if the force exerted by your index fingers cannot bend the shoes, it means that the midsole is probably too rigid and this may irritate your Achilles tendon among other problems.

The following are other basic characteristics of running shoes:

1. A rigid plastic insert within the heel of the shoe, known as a heel counter to control the movement of your heel

2. A cushioned foam pad surrounding the heel of the shoe to prevent Achilles tendon irritation

3. A removable thermoplastic inner sole that customizes the fit of the sole by using your body heat to mould it to the shape of your foot.

Shoes are the runner’s most essential piece of equipment, so it is good you carefully select appropriate footwear before you start a running programme.

Shoemaking companies also sell cross-training shoes to help combat the high cost of having to buy separate pairs of running shoes, tennis shoes, weight training shoes etc.

Although the cross-training shoe can serve several different fitness activities by the novice or recreational athlete, a distance runner who runs 25 or more miles per week needs a pair of speciality running shoes.


Appropriate Physical Activity Equipment

Some physical activities require special protective equipment in order to reduce the chances of injury. Injuries can occur in virtually all fitness related physical activities. However, some activities are riskier than others.

Head injuries used to account for 85% of all deaths from bicycle accidents; however, bike helmets have greatly reduced the number of skull fractures and facial injuries.

The following are other ways of preventing athletes’ injuries:

1.  Warm-up periods should precede physical activity engagement.

2. The coach should plan physical activities and progress from simple to complex.

3. Sports facilities and equipment should be in good order.

4. Competent sports management principles recognized by sports administrators and organizers are ways of minimizing injuries in sports.

5. Rules which help in the prevention of injuries should be enforced

6. Coach or trainer should ensure homogenous grouping of athletes in sports competitions.

7.  Athletes must be injury conscious and the trainer or coach should be able to make a safe, spot diagnosis so as to know whether to withdraw an injured athlete from the game or allow him or her to continue playing.

8. A balanced diet (quality and quantity) should be regularly consumed.

9. Where athletes lack nourishment from food as a result of preparation which may destroy necessary nutrients, supplementation of vitamins and minerals is necessary.

10. Where the body cannot be given enough water to perform its various processes, fresh fruits and vegetables should be supplied.

11. Footballers should avoid using canvas or rubber shoes during training as this exposes them to injuries of the foot and ankle while kicking hard football.

12. Undersized boots or spiked shoes should not be worn by athletes/players as they subject athletes to injuries and blisters.

13. Also, incorrect sized stockings or unclean ones are potential sources of foot deformities and could lead to foot skin infections (e.g athlete’s foot).

14. If gymnasia and pitches are used for training it is important to check them for dangerous objects such as nails, bottles, decay tree stumps, etc

15. Sports equipment should be checked periodically (human factor), as a serious accident can be caused by faulty ropes, horse, vaulting boxes and damaged tars.

16. Poorly manufactured equipment should not be accepted by sports equipment dealers and so care and attention should be paid to the selection of durable and superior equipment by coaches and sports administrators.

17.  Playing grounds/fields, courts, gymnasia and recreation centers, swimming pools and other fixed (as well temperature and light facilities associated with them) should not only be properly guarded but also effectively and well lit, ventilated and hazards free to reduce accidents.

18. Other extraneous factors which tend to influence the host's interactions with his agent and environment such as age, sex, and drug and alcohol consumption should be taken into consideration in sports organizations to prevent accidents.

19. In the same vein, other strategies for avoiding injuries in gymnasia and athletic pitches and swimming pools are documented here.

Some other ways to avoid injuries in gymnasia and athletic field are:

1. Pillars and walls and other obstacles close to playing areas should be covered with padding materials. 2. Fields should be kept clear of broken glass, bits of metal sticks and trash of all kinds.

3. Gymnasium floors and playing fields should be kept smooth and in good repair.

4. Athletics/sports grounds and other facilities should be regularly inspected and kept in good condition. 

5. All dangerous conditions should be promptly reported.

6. Spectators should be kept clear of the playing area.

7. Extreme care should be taken in locker rooms and showers for accidents in these areas can be more serious than those that occur on the playing fields

8. Schools should endeavor to institute safety education/instruction. With safety engineering and safety enforcement, safety education is one of the three essential factors in maintaining and improving safety conditions.

9. All skills should be progressively learnt. That is from simple skills to more complex/difficult ones in order not to overstrain.

10. Coaches should consider the age of athletes and they should be allowed to play with others of the same age. Also, equipment should match the age group.

11. The playground or play arena should be cleared of anything that could cause injury. The playing field should be leveled. It should not be slippery. If the play arena is of a hard court or carpet grass, it is very important to take precautionary measures not to play on them when they are wet. Sticks, stones, empty drink cans, pure water sachets should not be left on the playground as they may cause injuries. All potholes should be properly covered.

12. All sports equipment meant to be used for sports must be in a good and safe condition. Poor care and use of bad equipment could cause injuries to the user of such equipment.

13. Medical fitness examination or medical screening should be carried out before participating in certain sports. This is to determine their health and fitness level. For instance, those with a heart condition should be discouraged from participating in strenuous physical activities. Also, those persons with poor sight should not be allowed to play sports that involve catching small balls e. g. cricket.

14. During sports activities, do not put on wristwatches, earrings, rings, bangles, necklaces etc.

15. Before participating in sports activities, make sure you cut your finger and toenails short.

16. A casualty who has recovered fully should not be allowed to go into the field of play.

17. Sportsmen and women should be discouraged from engaging in sporting activities immediately after a full meal.


Water Safety Rules

Water sports are enjoyable but they are associated with many risks. People swim at public and private pools and at recreation centers and accidents occur in them, most drowning victims could have saved themselves if they had known how to swim.

A few basic water safety rules are:

1. One should always swim with a companion.

2. It is advisable to wait at least one hour after eating before going into the water.

3. Those that don't know how to swim well should stay in shallow water.

4. It is advisable that at least one member of a swimming party should have training in life-saving, resuscitation, and first aid if no lifeguard is on duty.

5. When swimming for a distance, it is advisable to swim parallel to the shore or have someone accompany the swimmer in a boat.

6. Before diving, it is advisable to make sure the water is deep enough and free of obstructions.

7. Small children in, or near a body of water should be watched closely.

8. Engaging in horseplay in the water should be avoided. 9. Swimming during storms should be avoided, 10. Swimming near diving boards or in areas where people are, diving should be avoided.

11. Only expert swimmers should water ski or skin dive, and only after receiving adequate instructions. 12. Only skilled and experienced sailors should venture out alone.

13. A life jacket should always be worn in a boat if one cannot swim

14. Only those that know water traffic regulations should venture sailing a boat.

15. One should not pilot any boat without mastering the skills required to operate it safely.

Preventing Cramps

Although most of us have experienced the quick, intense pain of muscle cramps, they are poorly understood. According to the overexertion theory of muscle cramps, when a muscle gets tired, the numerous muscle fibres that compose the muscle fail to contract in a synchronized rhythm, probably due to overstimulation from the nerves that trigger the muscles to contract.

Those who exercise and perspire (sweat) heavily suffer cramps always. However drinking enough fluids before, during and after such activity is very important.

Regularly, drink enough water/fluids so that you have to urinate every two to four hours. During external exercise, it is recommended that you drink as much water as you can tolerate. It is interesting to note that calcium plays a role in muscle contraction and people with a tendency to have cramps are often calcium deficient, calcium has many health benefits experts continue to recommend it for everyone. Lack of sodium is another possible factor that can cause cramps. If you exercise a lot and sweat a lot, you will lose sodium through sweat, may develop a sodium imbalance and experience cramps.

Many health conscious athletes restrict their salt intake on a regular basis in an attempt to keep blood pressure under control but clearly, there is a risk in doing so. Paying attention to the above nutrients is very important in order to avoid cramping. It is probably more important to make sure that muscles are warmed up and that muscles are not strained beyond their limit.

When you suffer from cramps, massage, stretch, putting pressure on the muscle that is cramping and deep breathing are very useful remedies.


Also read: 5 Main Aims and Objectives of First Aid

Conclusion on ways to prevent sports injury?

In conclusion, you will agree with me that prevention is the key and best ways tips to prevent injury. Sportsmen and women should be injury conscious at all times as it wills them to avoid, avoidable accidents that will result in injuries in the field of play.

In this post, we learnt about how using appropriate clothing, footwear and equipment can actually help in preventing sports injuries. We also learnt safety rules to take in water sports and also how to prevent cramps.

Post a Comment