Injuries to your joints can occur while playing sports or exercising. Sports injuries to your joints can be caused easily from a variety of reasons. Common joint injuries from playing sports consist of: knee injuries, twisted ankle, sprains, and overextended elbow. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent joint damage while playing sports.
Be In Proper Condition
If you are playing in a league, make sure to get a physical exam beforehand to ensure you are physically fit to play in a sport. You also need to be adequately trained for that sport in order to prevent injury. “Many injuries can be prevented by following a regular conditioning program of exercises designed specifically for your sport.” (2) Also make sure you take time off for yourself such as 1-2 days per week to allow your body to recover.
It’s very important to warm up before any type of sport and to cool down after playing sports. Warming up is important because your body will be less likely to suffer muscle strain as your muscles become warm and loose.
Stretching also plays a key role in preventing joint injuries as stretching makes your muscles more flexible. It’s essential to stretch before and after your sports session. Useful stretches includes “calf raises, lunges, squats, and leg lifts. For the shoulders, do simple moves such as push-ups, lateral lifts with light weights, and bench dips.” (4)
Wear Appropriate Protective Gear
Protective gear such as pads which fit properly on your body can prevent joint damage to your knees, shins and shoulders. It’s also important to make sure you wear proper clothing and shoes for the particular sport your are playing. Specifically for running sneakers, make sure you get fitted for running shoes at a sports store.
Use Protective Gear
When playing sports such as golf or tennis that have a repetitive motion, make sure you are trained properly such as by taking lessons beforehand from a coach or trainer. This reduces the risk of injury as getting proper training will ensure you have proper form.
1. “What are Sports Injuries? Fast Facts: An Easy-to-read Series of Publications for the Public”
2. “How to Prevent Sports Injuries”
3. “Top 10 Tips for Avoiding Sports Injuries”
4. “Avoiding Joint Injuries”