Athletes get injured. It’s one of the things you accept when you participate in a sport, whether you are tackling someone on the field, swinging a racket to return a serve or training for the next marathon. It doesn’t matter what sport you participate in, injuries are always a risk. But not only can you control how you rehabilitate from those injuries, you actually have some control over preventing those injuries from happening in the first place. Our sports medicine team in Wheaton works with athletes on a daily basis, helping them learn how to avoid injuries so they can play harder and longer at the sport they love.
Top Tips for Preventing Injuries
Warm Up and Cool Down
When you start an activity, start it slowly. Give your body a chance to warm up to the activity, whether that’s running, swimming, or moving out on the field. Warming up gives your body a chance to get going, the blood to start pumping to your muscles, and your brain to kick into an athletic mode. When you warm up, you are helping your muscles and connective tissues get more pliable, which will help you move as well as help you avoid injury. Conversely, make sure you cool down after a game, too. Taking ten minutes to do some gentle exercise like walking or swimming a few laps helps your heart slow down and will prevent your muscles from getting stiff.
Stay Hydrated at All Times
You know it’s important to keep your body hydrated, but it’s actually important to help prevent injuries, too. When you start to get dehydrated, even a little bit, it can affect your mental clarity and slow your body down. That means you won’t be able to react as quickly to what’s happening out on the field and could end up putting yourself at higher risk for an injury.
Listen to Your Body
You need to know your personal limits. If you aren’t ready to run 26 miles, don’t sign up for the marathon. You are only going to overextend your muscles and could end up doing serious damage to your body. Know your limits, but also listen to your body when you are training. There may be some days your body just isn’t going to perform as well as other. While you want to push beyond mental limitations, don’t push yourself so hard physically that you end up injuring yourself.
Get More Help From Our Team
We love training athletes because many of our team members are athletes themselves! We understand the importance of staying in the game and how even a little bit of missed time due to injuries can set your performance back. We work with athletes of all levels to screen them for biomechanical deficiencies. Once we’ve identified those areas, we can offer advice and guidance about how to overcome them so you don’t miss any more training, practice, or games than you absolutely have to. If you are interested in learning more about our injury prevention services, contact our team to make an appointment today.