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 Injury Prevention in Youth Sports
 
Introduction 
        

Sports injuries are a part and parcel of life for active and sports-loving people. Even after a sedentary week, if you play a game of rugby, chances are that you might hurt your ankle or have a sprain or strain. But does that stop you from hitting the field the next time? Not really!!

Injury to the ligament (the tough bands that connect bones at the joint) is termed as sprain. A sudden stretch or pull affecting the ligaments past the bearable limits can deform or tear the same. Strains are injuries affecting tendons or muscle fibers that anchor muscles to your bones. It is also known as “muscle pull” because it is caused by overusing or over-stretching muscles that leads to tear in the tendons.

Sometimes it is difficult to prevent even some of the common sports injuries. However, many a times, accidental injuries can be prevented by working out and staying thoroughly conditioned.

 
Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries 

Prevention is better than cure, even in sports. As a teenager, you should start your workout with gentle warm-up to prevent any of the common sports injuries. Casual warm-up can increase blood flow to your muscles, thus providing you more flexibility, thereby reducing the chances of injuries.

Similarly overuse injuries are also quite common, yet preventable. Before playing any sports, make sure you warm-up. Lightly work your relevant muscle groups before starting the activity.Additionally, you must learn to recognize your limits. If you are tired, stop. Muscle fatigue can take away the body’s protective mechanism and increase the risk of injuries. 

 
Follow these simple preventive measures to avoid injuries when active:
  • Warm Up: Start your daily activity with a warm-up session, which includes little bit of stretching until you feel warmed up. Take a jog to loosen up and prepare to play.
  • Know the Rules: Before starting any game, you should know the rules of the game to prevent accidents and injuries. For instance, in the game of soccer, you cannot come from behind and crash into any player’s legs in an attempt to steal the ball. It’s best to be legal in order to play safe.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated before a game. It is essential to have balanced fluid levels to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can have an effect on your muscles and bones too. It impacts performance by reducing blood volume and oxygen delivery to the working muscles.
  • Wear Appropriate Clothing and Shoes:Sports demands appropriate and comfortable clothing to allow quick sweat evaporation. Don’t wear heavy or excessive clothing as it may lead to overheat. You should get yourself a well-fitted pair of shoes for your activity to prevent strains and sprains.
  • Select The Right Equipment: Regardless of the type of sport you play, always select the right sports equipment. To avoid any injury, you should choose protective equipment like elbow and knee pads, mouth guards, helmets, shin pads and gloves. These equipments may be helpful for contact sports and games. If you play games like squash, eye protection is very important.
  • Strengthen Your Muscles: It’s increasingly important to develop stronger muscles through conditioning exercises during practice session. With regular practice, you muscles become stronger when you play.
  • Increase Your Flexibility: To prevent injuries, you should also increase your flexibility. Stretching exercises can make your body more flexible. When incorporated daily, stretching can make your muscles more flexible, which makes it easier to play the sport you love so much.
  • Take Breaks: Breaks and rest play an important role in injury prevention. With the rest that breaks provide, your muscles and joints can recuperate. If you are a regular player, make sure you get plenty of rest and good sleep to recover from muscle weakness and fatigue, which may not be apparent. If you don’t rest, symptoms like pains and aches can start affecting in no time.
  • Eat Healthy: You should always aim for a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, lean protein and dairy products to maintain good health. If you love sports, have the right diet to have ample energy and nutrition to stay active.
  • Cool Down: Finally, at the end of the game, you should always remember to cool down. It is as important as warming up, or preparing for the game. As you cool down, your body and muscles tend to relax and rejuvenate.
Conclusion
As they say, preventive approach in any activity helps you deliver the best. Keeping the above tips in mind can help you enjoy a pain-free sports time, minimizing the chances of injury. Not just that, it helps you remain healthy too.
 
Quiz Section !

  1. Why warm up required?
     Decrease Muscles  Increase Muscles  Increase blood flow  Decrease blood flow
  2. What is the Impact of Dehydration?
     Reduce blood & oxygen delivery  Increase Blood & oxygen delivery  Increase muscle strength  Decrease Muscle Strength
  3. Which sport causes the most head injuries every year?
     Foot ball  Base ball  Soccer  Cycling
  4. A Sprain is an injury to which of the following?
     A nurve  A ligament  A bone  A muscle
  5. Where is the tendon that is injured most often located in the body?
     Bone  Elbow  Ankle  Muscle
  6. What is the most common runner's injury?
     Runner's Knee  Shin SplintsElbow  Achilles tendinitisBone  Plantar faciitis
 
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