Your muscles and bones are strong, but they are connected by joints. These are basically the weak links in the chain of your body, and they are the body parts most likely to become damaged when you play sports or engage in physical activity. Knowing how to prevent sports injuries is important – almost as important as knowing how to treat them when they occur!
How to Avoid Injuries
If you avoid those injuries in the first place, you won’t have to spend time recovering when you hurt yourself. It just makes sense to avoid them!
If you weigh more than you should, the excess weight puts a lot of pressure on your bones and joints. This can lead to joint problems – think arthritis and worn-down joints – as well as problems with your bones. The excess weight can make it easier for you to break those bones while you enjoy your sport activities.
For this reason, make an effort to lose weight. The less weight your bones and joints have to support, the less risk there will be of their becoming injured. Get your body fat percentage down to a healthy level (25% for women, 18% for men), and you won’t have to worry as much about injuries.
Take a Break
If you’ve been training or playing hard for a few months, it’s time to give your body a break. Overtraining can lead to injuries, so make sure that you don’t push yourself beyond what your body can handle.
Take note if there are any of the contraindications to your training: chest pain, pain in your joints, extreme muscle soreness, etc. If you notice these things, give your body a break and tone down the exercise for a couple of weeks.
Supplement Your Diet
Taking supplements is an important way to keep your joints healthy, and PMIR Medical Center recommends adding a few supplements to your diet:
- SAMe — This helps to deliver sulfur – a vital nutrient – to your joints, keeping them producing new cartilage cells.
- Calcium — Calcium is needed for your bones, and it will ensure that your body can get rid of excess fat more easily.
- Vitamin D — Without this vitamin, your body wouldn’t be able to absorb calcium. Balance it out by taking both Vitamin D and calcium.
- Glucosamine — This nutrient is necessary for joint health, and it can help to reduce pain, increase your joint’s mobility, and even prevent your joints from being damaged.
- Chondroitin — Combine this supplement with glucosamine for the best results!
Adding these supplements will do wonders for your bones and joints.
When you exercise, it’s important that you do it correctly. What does that mean?
- Give your body a break. If you train the same muscles day after day, it can not only lead to damaged muscle fibers, but also worn out joints and bones.
- Use proper form. Improper form increases your risk of injuries, and can even wear out the bones and joints more than normal.
- Avoid potential dangers. Sports like football and martial arts can be hard on your joints, so consider a lower-impact form of sports if you’re worried about your bone and joint health.
- How to Treat Injuries
Treating injuries can stop them from worsening, and will help them to heal more quickly.
Protection — Wrap your injured joint in an Air Cast or ACE bandage to prevent it from being damaged further.
Rest — Give the joint time to heal by resting and avoiding using it.
Ice –Slow the swelling and promote quicker healing by applying ice for 15 to 20 minutes every 4 hours.
Compression — A tight wrapping around an injured joint will prevent the injury from swelling, thereby reducing bleeding into the injured area.
Elevation — The less blood flow there is to the area initially, the less swelling there will be and the faster it will heal.
Use ankle, knee, wrist, shoulder, and elbow braces if you are doing sports or activities where you are likely to injure or strain your joints.
This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon. Her interests are education, parenting and health but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. She currently writes on behalf of PMIR.