The Top 5 Ways to Prevent Sports Injuries

man running in front of sunset

And How to Find an Athletic Trainer Near You in Wichita

There are so many amazing benefits to engaging in physical activity and playing sports. They teach us the value of healthy competition and teamwork. They give us a reason to become faster and stronger so we can compete at a higher level. Sports also provide numerous benefits to our mental and physical health.

The most popular ones include:

  • Ability to maintain a healthy weight
  • Improved strength in bones and muscles
  • Improved mental health and mood
  • Improved sleep
  • Ability to think clearer and focus throughout the day
  • Decreased chances of heart issues

Even though playing sports has several health benefits, they have their own fair share of risks, too. Most notably, getting injured. Of course, high-impact sports like football and basketball come to mind when we think of sports injuries. However, games like tennis and other low-impact sports have their own risks as well.

In the event of a sports-related injury, most people seek the aid of an athletic trainer or a doctor that is trained in advanced orthopedics. Sometimes a patient will be referred over for physical therapy to help increase their mobility and assist with pain management.

Sports injuries can happen on virtually any part of the body under numerous circumstances. The best way to deal with an injury is to avoid it altogether. To provide some insight on how to stay active without getting hurt, here are the top five ways to prevent sports injuries.

Tip #1 – Make Sure That Your Body is Prepped to Play

Engaging in a sport means that certain demands are going to be made on your body. Playing basketball means running, jumping, pivoting, and other complex actions. If you plan on playing in an actual game, then you should practice the main components of the game beforehand to ensure your body will be able to hold up. That means practicing shooting, passing, and running. Essentially, you want to test your body out in a safe environment before putting it through the rigors of competition.

Remember, you can always reach out to a professional athletic trainer to be coached on the best ways to prepare for a sport.

Tip #2 – Warm Up and Cool Down

Never start playing a sport without properly warming up first. Make sure that you do a thorough stretch of all your major muscle groups (should take at least ten minutes), do a brisk jog, and take some warm-up shots/swings/throws before engaging in the sport of your choice. Doing a proper warm-up significantly reduces your chances of injury.

Once you’re done playing your sport, complete another jog or brisk walking session and do another round of stretches. This process will take your body into a state of rest with less of a risk of tight muscles or aches.

Tip #3 – Ease into Competition

The big mistake that a lot of casual athletes make is they try to do too much too soon. If you’ve gone for a long period of time without playing a sport, it’s not recommended to jump back into the game with a two or three-hour session. That’s a recipe for getting hurt.

Instead, start off with small segments of game time that last 15 – 30 minutes. Get used to running the court and playing again. If you feel exhausted or as if your body is going to give out – don’t force yourself to push through.

Tip #4 – If You’re Playing, Make Sure You Keep Playing On a Regular Basis

The more consistently that you play a sport, the more that your body becomes accustomed to playing it. Once your body becomes accustomed to regular play, that significantly decreases the chances of a sports related injury.

However, this doesn’t mean you should go overboard and play for several hours per day on a daily basis. Consistent play is generally defined as engaging in a sport two to three times per week.

Tip #5 – Don’t “Push Through the Pain”

Being tired while playing a sport is completely normal. You can get winded or feel like your muscles are getting tired. However, things like pulled muscles or joint pain are varieties of pain you need to pay attention to. That means you’re either on the verge of injury or are already injured.

Whatever you do, don’t try to push through it or tough it out. Severe sports-related pain is a warning sign that you need to cease playing and let your body recover. Not doing so may result in seriously injuring yourself.

How to See an Athletic Trainer at Mid-America Orthopedics Wichita

If you’ve been injured playing a sport or engaging in physical activity, your first order of business should be to seek the help of an athletic trainer. However, you don’t need to Google search “athletic training near me” to find one. You can contact the professionals at Mid-America Orthopedics in Wichita.

Our athletic training staff is made up of highly qualified and multi-skilled health care professionals that focus on the prevention, care, and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries. Mid-America Orthopedics also has the added benefit of being able to offer professional physical therapy and the services of doctors trained in advanced orthopedics.

To contact us, you can either call (316) 630-9300 or email us directly using the contact form on our website.