Athletes push their bodies to the limit to achieve the best performance. But to get the most from your body, you need to be able to prevent injuries from occurring.
Preventing injuries means being able to train consistently over a period of time, which leads to the most gains for an athlete. It also means being less prone to weakness that can occur after suffering an injury. Unfortunately, once you get injured, it’s more likely to happen again.
There are many factors that cause sports injuries: overuse, fatigue, sudden change in activity level and not enough recovery time. Over time, these factors can lead to tendonitis, sprains and strains, as well as fractures, dislocations and concussions.You can help prevent sports injuries by following these four tips:
- Always do a proper warm-up to prepare your muscles for activity.
- Stretch regularly – this includes both dynamic stretching before a workout and static stretching during a cooldown.
- Use the right gear, including proper fitting shoes and helmets, as needed.
- Avoid sudden increases in training.
If you sustain a mild injury, you may be able to effectively treat it at home. Try rest, ice, compression and elevation along with taking anti-inflammatory medication. But watch for red flags, such as difficulty bearing weight, swelling and bruising. These are signs you should get evaluated by a medical professional.
Many people think they need to see an orthopedic surgeon for a sports injury. However, most sports injuries are treated non-surgically. A physiatrist is often the best person to see first. These physicians are trained in sports medicine and rehabilitation, and can accurately diagnose your injury and develop the right treatment plan for you. If needed, they can refer you to other specialists, such as a physical therapist or orthopedic surgeon.
Edward-Elmhurst Health takes an individualized approach to treating and preventing sports injuries. Our sports medicine physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers work together to create customized treatment plans that take into account each athlete’s goals. Our goal is to help athletes return to their prior level of function so that they can return to the sports and activities they enjoy.
To learn more about sports injuries treatment and prevention, visit EEHealth.org. To schedule an appointment with a sports medicine physician or physiatrist, call 630-527-6363 or schedule an appointment online.
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