Whether you never quit playing sports, or you rediscovered the joy of play during adulthood, you know that sports offer all kinds of benefits — pure fun, the thrill of competition, socializing, and of course, improving your fitness. Even though there are many positive aspects to playing sports, you also face the risk of injury.
At Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates in Independence, Ohio, our expert providers know that the benefits of sports almost always outweigh the risks. However, if you understand your risks, you can take steps to mitigate them. In this post, we discuss some common sports injuries, as well as what you can do to lower your risk of needing a sports medicine specialist.
Who gets hurt playing sports
Children are most at risk for sports injuries, for several reasons. One is simply that kids are more likely to play sports than adults. Another is that children are still growing and that makes them susceptible to injury.
The fact is, though, that anyone who plays sports can get hurt. And, some types of injuries are more likely to happen over time. Overuse injuries, for example, are more likely the more often you perform a certain motion.
Professional baseball pitchers are prone to overuse injuries in their shoulders because they throw the ball thousands of times. But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to sustain an overuse injury. If you’re a runner, you take millions of steps, and that puts you at risk for overuse injuries, too.
If you return to playing sports after a period of relative inactivity, you also face increased risk. Another factor is one we can’t control, and that’s age. Over time, your soft tissues become less stretchy and resilient, making injury more possible than when you were younger.
Common sports injuries
Sprains, strains, fractures, concussion, and many other types of injuries are quite common among those who play sports. The sport that you play predicts the type of injury you’re most likely to suffer. For example, football players are more likely to get concussions than baseball players, although of course, it’s possible to get a concussion playing any sport.
How to avoid sports injuries
Even though simply participating in a sport creates a risk of injury, playing offers so many benefits we think the risk is worthwhile. You can mitigate your risk of injury by doing the following:
- Always warm up before playing
- Use proper equipment
- Crosstrain, and include strength-building exercises
- Take rest days regularly
- Increase activity levels incrementally
- Do some kind of flexibility and mobility training
- Cool down after activity
If you’re concerned about hurting yourself while enjoying your favorite sport, schedule an appointment at Dr. Keppler & Associates. We’re happy to discuss your concerns in the context of your sport and your life.