Do you love the thrill-of-the-game? Although they provide enjoyable activity and exercise, all sports carry risk of injury. Whether you are playing a game of softball on a community sports team or enjoying a friendly game of football in the park with friends, everyone is susceptible to becoming injured in the game – and spoiling the fun!
The most common sports injuries are sprains (injuries to ligaments) strains (injuries to muscles), and stress fractures (injury to bone), which are caused when abnormal stress is placed on the tendons, joints, bones, and muscles. It’s important to protect yourself by prevention, if you can.
No one wants to sit on the sideline — and you may not have to if you take precautions. Here are 5 helpful tips that may keep you off the bench:
- Warm-Up: A good warm-up helps prepare the body by gradually raising the heart rate. Warm-ups also improve mobility, and keep the muscles warm, loose, pliable and ready for the game.
- Stretch: Boost your flexibility by stretching before the game. Reduced flexibility leads to shorter, tighter muscles – which increases the risk of injury.
- Wear protective gear: Knee pads, mouth gear, helmets, and other equipment were designed to give you extra protection so that you can enjoy the game with less concern for injury.
- Rest: Don’t overdo it. If you’re tired, take a break. Rest can make you stronger and prevent injuries of overuse, fatigue and poor judgment.
- Don’t play with pain: Don’t be a “tough guy — be wise. Stop the activity if there is pain. In doing so, you may prevent an injury from becoming serious or debilitating
If you find that you have suffered an injury playing sports, you may need to see a doctor. Here are the most common “red flags” to let you know that your injury needs medical attention.
- Your pain gets progressively worse
- You have pain when at rest or at night
- Joint swelling
- Bruises that don’t heal
- Knees, elbows, or other joints that lock-up or seem unstable
Don’t try to treat yourself if you believe that you have a serious injury – delayed treatment can prolong the healing time, or worse, cause further damage. There are many new minimally invasive treatments if pain becomes chronic and unmanageable following a sports injury. Seek a consultation with Dr. Kamson to see if you are a good candidate for minimally invasive regenerative therapy. Call (206) 496-0630 today.