Don’t Let Sport Injuries Sideline You

By: Robbie Adams

It's no secret that training and competing can take a toll on an athlete’s body. Movements like running, swimming, jumping, tackling, kicking and pivoting, done on a regular basis, can lead to wear and tear on one’s muscles, joints and bones. This holds especially true if proper technique is not adhered to while training.


Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries

Whether you are an amateur or a professional athlete, the following tips can help reduce your chance of sustaining a serious sports injury:

  • Get a pre-season physical to check for any health issues prior to training.
  • Increase your flexibility by performing a dynamic warm-up prior to practice and competition followed by static stretching post activity.
  • Consult with a coach or physical therapist about how to incorporate appropriate strength and conditioning training into your practice schedule.
  • Wear protective equipment (i.e. mouth guards, helmets, heart guards, pads, eye wear) as well as gear that is properly fitted.
  • Maintain use of proper technique while training and competing.
  • Stay active during the off-season so that you are prepared to return to your regular training regimen later in the year.
  • Take periodic breaks during practice and plan to take at least one day off each week to rest and recover.
  • Pause your activity if you feel pain and discuss it with a doctor, physical therapist or athletic trainer.


Common Injuries by Sport

Even if all of the above tips are followed, it is still possible for a lingering sports injury to occur. This is why it is important to have a basic knowledge of what to be on the lookout for.

  • Baseball and Overhead Athlete Injuries
  • Running Injuries
  • Golf Injuries

Baseball and Overhead Athlete Injuries

Baseball and softball players at any level of competition may experience a range of arm-related injuries involving the shoulder, elbow, hand or wrist. This is due to overuse caused by repetitive throwing, bat swinging and even catching balls at high speeds.

Rest, proper conditioning and solid mechanics may aid in controlling short-term soreness or discomfort; however, persistent pain may signal a more serious condition that requires surgery, such as shoulder instability or a bad tear.


Running Injuries

There are many factors that can contribute to a running injury, including errors in training, improper running shoes, anatomic irregularities or even extreme running surfaces. Additionally, those who are new to running, have recently resumed training after an injury, or have increased running speed or distance are also more susceptible to getting hurt.

Injuries of the knee are especially prevalent among runners. Patellofemoral[i] pain syndrome (PFPS), also known as “runner’s knee,” is one example of a common injury often brought on by overuse.


Golf Injuries

The most common injury for golfers is back pain. Many golfers do not swing the club the same way each time and therefore place unnatural stresses and forces through the back. High level and/or professional golfers may also experience back pain due to overuse. Additional injuries that golfers encounter include "golfer's elbow" (inflammation of the tendons originating at the inner part of the elbow), and pain or injury to the neck, shoulder, wrist, hips, knees, and foot or ankle.