Practising a sport can keep you fit, help you maintain a healthy weight and increase your sense of well-being. However, injuries can easily occur if you don’t take care. The most common sporting injuries are sprained ankles, hamstring, knee and shin injuries. Injuries usually occur due to overuse or inadequate preparation. Here are some important tips to help you avoid the more common sporting injuries.
It is essential that you warm up properly before exercising. Warming up will loosen up muscles and slowly increase blood flow. Injuries will almost certainly occur if your muscles are tight and cold. A warm up will raise your body temperature and heart rate, and warm your muscles, preparing your body for more vigorous exercise.
Warm up sessions consist of gentle cardiovascular exercises and stretches that will help lengthen your muscles and prepare them to perform in peak condition. Warm up sessions are particularly effective in the prevention of hamstring injuries.
A cool down session after exercise is just as important as the warm up. A cool down session involves light exercises and gently stretching to decrease the heart rate and progressively cool the body down. Cool down exercises will help to prevent the build up of lactic acid which can cause stiffness, pain and cramps. Cooling down will assist the blood flow and prevent the build up of blood pooling, whereby blood collects around contracted muscles during a vigorous exercise session.
Choosing the right equipment is essential for preventing common sports injuries. Make sure you invest in a pair of correctly fitted running shoes and avoid running on uneven surfaces where the chances of spraining an ankle are more likely. If you play a high contact sport such as rugby, wear a gum shield to protect your teeth. If you play football or hockey, you need to wear shin pads to protect against knocks. Joints that have already been weakened through injury require additional support to prevent further injury.
Sports massage helps to increase the blood, lymph and oxygen flow, delivering essential nutrients to your muscles. Sports massage will loosen tight muscles, increase elasticity and help flush out toxins such as lactic acid. Those who incorporate regular sports massage into their sporting programme, suffer from little or no injuries. Bristol Chiropractic Clinic has qualified sports massage therapists available to offer treatment and advice on the prevention of sporting injuries. Contact us today for more information on our range of preventable treatments.