Get to know the main causes of sports injuries and a few essential steps to prevent them and get the most out of your workouts. Click To Tweet
Performing physical activities is crucial for both your physical health and mental well-being. So, preventing sports injuries is fundamental in reaching your objectives safely and effectively.
A muscle or articular injury can quickly become a serious issue with the potential to hail any physical exercise. In the event of a muscle or ligament rupture, for example, you may even run the risk of being limited in carrying out the simplest daily tasks.
The main causes of sports injuries
- Postural changes over time: staying in one position for a long time can lead to immobility of muscles and joints, which can later lead to vertebral injuries.
- Muscle weakness: weak atrophied muscles may not be ready for the daily impacts, so, when they are recruited above their limit, they cause injuries due to the lack of strength required for the movement.
- Lack of physical preparation: the lack of a specific warm-up or a bad physical shape can lead to serious injuries due to the lack of preparation of the body to perform a movement.
- Poor technical execution: a poor technical execution of an exercise can overload certain muscles and/or articulations. For example, a common mistake in performing sit-ups is neck recruitment which can lead to neck discomfort.
Seeking the help of a professional in physical exercise at an early stage is essential to ensure body awareness and safety in all workouts and you can also follow some tips such as those suggested below. Click To Tweet If you are at an intermediate or advanced level, don’t ignore your body signals.
7 essential tips to prevent sports injuries during workout
Physical exercise can bring countless benefits to your body and mind. To get the most out of any type of workout, keep these tips in mind:
1. Pay attention to the execution of the exercises
The technical component is fundamental for the ones who work out. If, during physical activity, exercises are not performed correctly, not only will you not enjoy the desired income and performance, but injuries may also occur.
Learning the technique for each exercise is critical. For that, there are certified professionals that may help you perform the exercises safely.
2. Don’t forget the warm-up before working out
Before starting your workout, you should prepare your body and mind for the exercise itself.
Work on the mobility of the joints that you want to use with more emphasis, perform the exercise in a slow and controlled way, and if necessary, perform a myofascial release work (with a massage or using a roller, for example), to perform the exercise with more efficiency.
3. Seek guidance from a professional
A certified professional will accompany you throughout the process and make sure you don’t skip any steps, especially the ones mentioned above regarding the preparation.
With their help, there is the potential you’ll achieve stronger results, getting the most out of your workout, without injury with guidance, the technique of the exercises and allows for a healthy and steady progression while practicing.
4. Listen to your body
It can happen during a workout to feel a mild muscle or joint pain during a certain movement.
This pain may eventually disappear or become more severe. Therefore it’s important to understand the signs your body is telling you and understand if you must risk continuing exercising or, on the contrary, taking a break and resume on another day.
There are some days where your body doesn’t respond as you wish and taking a rest is the best way you can avoid bigger problems from happening.
If while performing an exercise you experience sharp pain, without relief in time, or that intensifies with a certain movement, you should stop immediately and consult a sports medicine professional to assess the extent of the injury.
5. Use the right equipment in a proper way
For your type of workout, you should be rigorously equipped in order to be able to perform it efficiently.
For example, if you are going to run, you shouldn’t wear ordinary shoes with a wide base, but rather shoes that are suitable for the sport. If the training is CrossFit, the type of shoe already differs significantly, according to the specificity of the exercises being performed.
You should pay particular attention when using equipment that requires strong use of balance, such as with bosu and fit balls, a suggestion is to integrate these exercises safely towards the goal in mind for the individual.
The use of weights such as bars, dumbbells, or kettlebells should always be adjusted to the individual’s physical ability so as not to overload the muscle and result in injury.
6. Cool down after a workout
You shouldn’t rush and stop your workout abruptly without giving time to your body to cool down and stretch the muscles after physical exercise.
If you’ve done strength training, walking at a slow and level pace on a treadmill for 5 minutes can be a good way to reduce your heart rate from the intense effort previously exerted.
7. Get enough rest
After working out, it’s normal that your body needs some time to recover. It’s possible to perform muscle recovery workouts for active recovery, however, these workouts must be properly structured so that there isn’t an overload on the muscle, especially important when the frequency and intensity of training is high demand on your body.
Classification of sport injuries
Sports injuries can take on 4 different degrees, the least serious being considered functional, that is, they limit the practice of physical exercise for a short time because there have been no changes in the structure of the muscle or tendons.
The most serious injuries are structural because they present changes in the muscle or tendons, whose recovery is longer and takes more time. Magnetic resonance imaging is the test used to assess the arrangement of muscle fibers and determine the degree of injury involved.
- Type 1: They are caused by excessive exercise and can cause muscle pain. Some of these injuries may present a build-up of fluid in the injured area (oedema), causing some discomfort, and may even lead to restriction of some movements. These lesions may last for a few days or even a few weeks, once improved the user can resume physical activity naturally.
- Type 2: They come from neuromuscular origin and can be related to the spine or directly to the muscle. These muscle disorders can increase muscle tension causing swelling (accumulation of fluid) in the affected area.
- Type 3: These injuries are already structural, that is, they present some alteration in the muscular structure which may imply a few weeks of recovery and the return to physical activity must be cautious. These are partial injuries that may present a hematoma and, therefore, cause pain.
- Type 4: They are also structural and involve the full dimension of muscle, bone, and tendon. It’s a serious disabling injury whose return to physical activity can take months. Medical follow-up is essential in this case.
- Bruising: Bruising is an injury that occurs superficially. A fall, for example, can cause bruising, which means, direct trauma to the muscle. The crash site may be painful, due to hematoma, but it is not limiting for physical exercise.
In addition, they can be categorised as acute and chronic.
Acute injuries are more frequent and it’s a result of a load applied with high intensity. The force applied to an area of the body can be damaging and lead to injury, like a fall or a sprain. These injuries are treated with the help of medication or applying ointments and with a massage.
Chronic injuries are the ones caused by repetitive strain and may result from acute pain, usually taking long periods of time to recover. A herniated disc caused by excessive strain on the spine or tendinitis can lead to chronic pain caused by repetitive strain. Chronic injuries, called overuse injuries, are more complex and may need to be studied by a sports medicine physician. This professional will be able to evaluate intrinsic and extrinsic factors, movement biomechanics, and posture to prevent injury. These corrections also have a therapeutic effect.
Physical activity can become a healthy habit when performed according to plan, supporting your body to regain vitality and preparing it for day-to-day impacts.
Nevertheless, and most importantly, when starting physical exercise, it’s vital to take precautions. It’s necessary to ensure that you always start by having a physical assessment and take advantage of diagnosis screenings and sports medicine appointments.
Guaranteeing the condition of protective equipment— padding, helmets, shoes, mouth guards— has helped improve safety in sports. Bear in mind that you can still be vulnerable to injury. Before starting any type of physical activity, particularly strenuous types of exercises or sports, always contact your healthcare provider.