Exercise Smart: Sports Injury Prevention

For any athlete or active individual, a sports injury can cause extreme frustration and possibly result in long-term damage to the body. It is important to exercise smart to avoid any possible complications in your training. Here are the most common sports injuries and the best ways to avoid them.

Pulled muscle. This is an extremely common kind of sports injury and can occur to any muscle in the body. The only way to avoid this injury is by stretching all of the muscles thoroughly before your workouts and by working the muscles regularly.

Neck pain and injuries. These injuries are most common with cyclists or tennis players. The best way to avoid them is by regularly stretching the neck and strengthening those muscles. If this is continually a problem, muscle relaxants may be necessary. Consult with your physician if you think you may need medication.

Shoulder impingement. Range-of-motion exercises are useful to strengthen the muscles in the rotator cuff. By strengthening those muscles, your shoulder will be held more firmly in place, decreasing the likelihood that the head will slip out of the socket or become inflamed.

Strained back. This injury is commonly suffered by all athletes, but especially weight lifters. If you fall into this crowd, make sure that you practice good form with each lift and that you don’t overly tax your back with each movement. Create a workout that will slowly strengthen your lower back, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles to better support the back and prevent injury.

Shin splints. Shin splints can be extremely painful and can slow an athlete for weeks. To avoid the injury, start exercising slowly to generate heat in the leg muscles. Always wear athletic shoes with good support and try to run on softer surfaces, which are easier on your bones and joints.

The best overall way to avoid injury is to:

  • Be in good physical condition to participate in the sport
  • Wear proper protective clothing and equipment
  • Include days of rest
  • Warm up and stretch thoroughly before performing
  • Avoid exercising if you are in pain

To learn more about exercising smart and preventing sports injuries, please contact us at St. Petersburg General Hospital. Visit us online or call Consult-a-Nurse® at 1-888-741-5122 for answers to your questions and free referrals to physicians near you.


The Sports Injury Handbook

National Institutes of Health

Related Posts:

Caring for Creaking Joints

Ankle Sprains: One of the Most Common Sports Injuries

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