Playing sports is a lot of fun, and a great way to stay in shape while doing the things you love. Whether you love soccer, football, softball, or even kickball, there’s no better way to get exercise, compete, and have fun with friends and teammates.
But sports injuries are all too common – and you can get injured playing almost any sport. An injury can mean a long recovery process, or even force you to stop playing your favorite sport altogether.
In this article, we’ll examine 5 of the most common sports injuries – and discuss how they can be avoided.
Ankle sprains are, by far, the most common sports injury. Sometimes, they cannot be prevented – but often, they are caused when you make a misstep, or do not plant your foot properly when running or moving quickly.
Training your balance and strengthening your ankles is the best way to prevent these sprains. In addition, stretching your ankle before a workout is a good idea, and taping your ankle or using an ankle brace can help you avoid this sports injury.
A pulled groin affects the hip adductors, which are located on the inside of the thighs near the groin. This is common in sports which require quick lateral movements – like tennis, soccer, and football.
Stretching is the best way to avoid a pulled groin. Do a warmup routine of stretches that are similar to the motions you perform while playing sports – such as lateral agility drills. You should also stretch your adductors to warm up before you begin an activity.
Hamstring strains are common in just about every sport which requires running, particularly among people who are not very flexible.
The best piece of advice for avoiding a hamstring strain is to avoid too much athletic activity – particularly if you have not been extremely physically active in the past. Give yourself enough time to rest and recover.
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To avoid a hamstring strain while playing sports, take the time to warm up and stretch your hamstrings. Stretching your glutes and your lower back is also a good idea, as tightness in these areas can contribute to a higher likelihood of hamstring strain and injury.
Shin splints are a serious overuse injury, most commonly found in long-distance runners. The tendons and ligaments running alongside the shinbone (tibia), become inflamed, resulting in a shooting pain along the bone.
Shin splints are usually caused by overuse with inadequate rest. However, there are other factors which increase your risk of developing shin splints. People with flat feet have a higher risk of shin splints, and wearing inappropriate or worn-out running footwear is also a big risk factor.
To avoid shin splints, make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear, and that you increase your level of physical activity gradually – particularly if you are just beginning a new fitness program.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most important parts of the knee. More than 100,000 ACL tears happen in the US alone every year, making it a very common injury. It can be stretched, partially torn, or completely torn. An ACL injury requires a long recovery time, and can be extremely painful.
The best way to avoid an ACL tear is to strengthen and stretch your entire lower body. The knee should be strong and flexible, as should other connecting ligaments. Some risk factors for ACL tears include weak or stiff hamstrings, and weak hips, which decrease the ability for the ACL to absorb impacts.
As with all other joints, warming up properly before playing sports is also essential. Active stretching of the knees, using exercises like squats and lunges, can be very helpful for preventing injuries to the ACL.
Avoid Common Sports Injuries With This Guide!
A minor sports injury like a sprained ankle or pulled hamstring doesn’t mean you have to stop playing your favorite sports. But it’s better to prevent these injuries altogether – and this guide can help you do just that.