In 2012 alone, approximately 570,000 people went to the emergency room from injuries sustained while playing basketball.
Another 560,000 were seen for injuries during bicycling; 466,000 for football injuries; more than 265,000 for injuries sustained on the baseball or softball field and another 230,000 who were injured while playing soccer. Of these almost 2 million emergency room visits, more than 70,000 resulted in hospitalization. Though most of these injuries were either concussions or sprains and strains; fractures and dislocations also attributed to the bulk of injuries to athletes. Many of these injuries were attributed to poor training or improper gear. Though some injuries come from accidents on the field, many sports injuries are entirely preventable.
Preventing Sports Injuries
Before your next sporting event, remember the following to cut down your chances of being injured while competing:
- Be careful when stretching. Don’t bend your knees more than halfway when doing knee bends. Don’t twist knees or elbows during routines and keep feet firmly planted at all times.
- Try to remember to land with your knees slightly bent when jumping.
- Wear the proper shoes for the sport. Football, softball and soccer are all sports wear cleats should be worn for better traction. Keep ankles and knees healthy by investing in a good pair of cleats. Never wear street shoes on the basketball court.
- Hydrate before, during and after every time you play.
- Understand your body’s limits and listen when it’s telling you its had enough.
- Know the difference between discomfort and pain. Discomfort is you pushing your body. Pain is a signal that you’ve pushed too far. Listen to your body.
- Use proper training methods for cardiovascular strength, power and endurance before engaging in new sports understanding that you’ll be moving new muscles in new ways, exposing them to the likelihood of injury.
Treating Sports Injuries
If you’ve experienced a mild strain or sprain to a joint or muscle, treatment at home should be enough. Remember the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation) to reduce swelling and pain. However, medical attention is needed if you experience the following:
- Severe pain, swelling or numbness
- Inability to place weight on affected area
- A feeling of instability or abnormality
- Extreme weakness
- A joint that is visibly dislocated.
Unfortunately, rehabilitating sports injuries often takes extended periods of time and physical therapy. At Hopkins Health & Wellness, our licensed and experienced physical therapists will examine, diagnose, and treat your pain or condition. Our physical therapy clinic is designed to treat patients of all ages with pain, lack of mobility, medical issues and more. Whatever the cause – injury, illness or disability – we are prepared to restore function, reduce pain, enhance mobility and much more.