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How to Prevent Sports Injuries

Sports season is in full swing, and while winning is always the goal, sports injuries are always a threat. Injuries may occur when people suddenly increase the intensity or frequency of their sport.

To avoid warming the bench this season, prevent soft tissue injuries with conditioning and proper training. These helpful tips and tricks will help you stay happy, healthy and in the game!

Use proper equipment

It is important to replace your athletic shoes as they wear out. According to Ryan Hall, one of the worlds best distance runners. He goes through two pairs a month! You may not need to replace your shoes as often as a professional distance runner but implementing your own method of testing when it is time replace your shoes could be beneficial to your health. An easy trick to try is by putting one hand in your shoe, and press on the sole with the other hand, if you can feel your fingers pressing through. Your shoes are worn out and the cushion is worn thin.

Warm up

Two orange people running

A warm up serves two major purposes, to enhance performance and prevent injury. It works by increasing your heart and blow flow rates and loosens up other muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Warming up is also a good time to mentally prepare for an event as it helps to clear your mind. A typical warm up exercise can include gradually increasing the intensity of your sport or activity, or for runners a good idea is to jog a while and add a few sprints to your routine.

Drink water

It is crucial to make sure you get the right amount of water before, during and after exercise. Water keeps your body temperature regulated and lubricates your joints. It can also help transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you aren’t properly hydrated, your body can’t preform at its optimum level. Keep an eye out for symptoms of dehydration such as, muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue. When playing sports in high heat you should be well prepared by being well hydrated and well nourished. Take plenty of water breaks and stop participation at the earliest signs of heat illness.

Woman drinking water

Return to Play

A player must heal completely before he or she should return to sports activity. In the case of a joint problem, the player must have no pain, no swelling, full range of motion and normal strength. In the case of a concussion, the player must have no symptoms at rest or with exercise, and should be cleared by a medical provider. It is important for players, parents and coaches to understand the different types of injuries and the treatments required.

Rest and Recovery

Everybody needs to take time off now and again, and athletes are no exception. Plan to have a least one-day off per week from your sport to allow the body to recover. Heat, Ice and Compression has been beneficial to increasing recovery time from stressful training or high impact sports.

Sport Safety

Playing sports can be fun, but it can also be dangerous if you aren’t careful. Remember to have a pre-season physical examination, follow your doctor’s recommendations, wear protective gear and whether an injury is acute or due to overuse if symptoms persist, contact your doctor.

To learn more about Dr. Kushwaha, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us on (713) 587-6263

About Vivek Kushwaha

Vivek P. Kushwaha attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his B.A. from the College of Natural Sciences. He then earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, Texas.

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