PREVENTION OF INJURY IN SPORTS
Unfortunately , injury is inevitable for some of those who participate in sporting activity . Injuries may occur as a result of an acute episode of trauma . Overuse injuries are caused by repeated episodes of microtrauma that individually are insufficient to give rise to macroscopic injury .
Sports specificity of injury :
The injuries suffered by athletes do not differ greatly from those occurring in any other group of people . However , every sport has its own group of injuries that are , to a greater or lesser extent , specific to that sport itself . This is important in preventing the injury in the first instance .
Following , I have outlined some tips to prevent injury while participating in sporting activities.
Preparation is the key word when considering prevention of sporting injury .
- Adequate warmup before participation
- Correct stretching techniques
- Strengthening exercises to achieve a balance of muscle power
- Fitness for sport , particularly aerobic – that is , cardiovascular and respiratory fitness, muscle power , and sport specific fitness
- Good nutritional status – A high carbohydrate diet and adequate fluid intake are the essential elements in the formula for successful preparation for the participation in , and the recovery from , sport and exercise .
Awareness of the second injury syndrome :
A previous minor injury may lead to clumsy timing or poor committment in a tackle . So after sustaining a sporting injury , one must be thoroughly examined by a Sports Medicine Specialist and prevent too early return to sport .
Safety equipment :
Correct use of safety equipment is essential in avoiding injury such as helmets , thigh pads , taping , strapping and bracing of knee and ankle . Poor quality shoes and shoes badly deformed from overuse must be avoided . 50% of shock absorbancy of shoes is lost after only 500 km of running which is about a month’s training for a marathon runner .
Training methods and competition :
The demands of training make overuse injury endemic in modern sport . Sports training and competition have intensified with the trend towards professionalism . Some tips
- Avoid abrupt changes in training methods , effort and intensity
- Avoid sudden changes in running surfaces i.e. from running on grass to synthetic surfaces
- Avoid poorly designed training techniques and improper posture
- Play within the rules of the sport
- Do not use any sort of performance enhancing drugs
- Competing or training in poor light can cause injury
- Cold weather with inadequate warmup leads to reduced elasticity and stiffness – Use warm clothing
- Hot and humid weather can cause Heat Stroke –
- Clothing should be white , light weight and loose fitting
- Natural fibres are safer than synthetic ones
- Small quantities of fluid to be drunk at frequent intervals
- Avoid sweat inhibiting deodorants
- Do not exercise in heat immediately after high carbohydrate feed
- After exercise , avoid too cold shower . Take cool drinks but not iced
- Acclimatisation for few days is essential in extreme temperature conditions
In today’s sport , the winner is no longer the best athlete , but the one who succeeds in reaching the start.