Exercise is an important part of living a healthy, active lifestyle, and for some exercise is achieved through sport. It is good for the heart, and respiratory system, and also good for building strength. By playing sports, you get the benefits of exercise while doing something you enjoy. But sports can also put your body at risk.

You might move in the wrong way or trip and fall injuring yourself. Some of the most common sports injuries typically occur as a result of these types of accidents. While there is no way to avoid them entirely, there are some steps that you can take to lessen the risk.

Strains & Sprains

Sprains and strains are one of the most common sports injuries because we use so many different muscles, tendons and ligaments when we exercise and they are all susceptible to becoming damaged or torn. From pulled hamstrings to ankle sprains, the best way to reduce the risk of sprained and strained muscles, tendons and ligaments is to warm up and stretch before engaging in strenuous or sporting activity. Read our post on common causes of repetitive strain injury for more advice.

Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body and it connects your calf muscle to your heel and helps you to walk. Achilles tendinitis causes your heel or calf to hurt when you walk or run and is a common injury in sports that require a lot of running. This type of injury can be caused by not stretching enough before running or not wearing the right shoes or a lack of rest period in between running.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that occurs from overuse of the fascia that sits underneath the foot. The fascia runs from the heel of the foot to the ball of the foot which acts as a shock absorber and if it has been overused, it can become inflamed. Overuse is normally from excessive exercise such as a lot of running, walking, or jumping exercises. In order to alleviate the pain, you would need to rest that area and work on some stretching exercises to try and reduce the swelling and inflammation.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is comprised of 4 muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor) along with their associated tendons that lie inside and around your shoulder. These muscles help your shoulder to move and more importantly, provide stability.

Injuries to a single or combination of these muscles can occur through a sudden traumatic event or through repetitive overuse when the same action is repeated again and again, such as bowling a ball or swimming. To help prevent injury and strengthen the rotator cuff it is important to strengthen your shoulder on internal and external rotation movements of the shoulder.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow causes pain on the outside of the elbow and is usually caused by overusing the muscles that are attached to your elbow and used to extend your wrist. Whilst tennis elbow can be caused by playing tennis, any activity that puts repeated stress on the elbow joint can cause the condition. Golfers elbow causes pain located on the inside of your elbow, again caused by overuse but of the muscles attached to your elbow that flex your wrist. Likewise, many activities aside from golf can lead to golfer’s elbow.

To help recovery of tennis or golfers elbow try not to put too much stress on the muscles surrounding your elbow. If your tennis or golfer’s elbow is caused by a sport putting repeated strain on your elbow joint, consider changing your technique as it may help to ease the problem. Stretching specific muscles is the first step to treating these conditions as well as an important factor in preventing reoccurrence in certain sports.

Back Injuries

Your back undergoes a level of stress when undertaking a sports activity. This stress may accumulate over time and cause inflammation around the joints of the spine. A sudden impact during a sports event could also cause an injury to the back. The type of treatment needed for a back injury will depend on the bones, muscles, ligaments or joints affected. The best way to reduce your risk of back injury is to keep your core and postural muscles of the spine strong and flexible with regular but specific exercise.

Many people often see a chiropractor on a regular basis to prevent injury to the spine and optimise performance in their chosen sport. There is plenty of research demonstrating the benefits of chiropractic in sports and the reduced rate of injury for those seeing a chiropractor and participating in a sport. See this study on chiropractic and Australian rules football.

For more help recovering from and preventing a sports injury, or to find out more about sports massage in Southend-on-Sea at Backworks, call us now on 01702 342329.