6 Things that Put You At Risk for a Sports Injury

6 Things that Put You At Risk for a Sports Injury

During the recent pandemic, sports injuries hit an all-time low in 2020. Now that we’re all back in the game, as it were, sports injuries have come roaring back, increasing by 20% in 2021.

If your active lifestyle plays an important role in your overall physical and mental wellness, you want to do what you can to avoid being sidelined by injury.

Well, you’ve come to the right place, as injury prevention is one of the top priorities at TLC Physical Therapy. Jason LaMendola, PT, and our team offer comprehensive sports medicine services that are designed to help our clients stay active and healthy.

To that end, we present six risk factors for sports injuries that you’d do well to address.

1. Not healing properly

One risk factor that rarely fails to sideline a person is not allowing an injury to heal right the first time. When you injure yourself, it’s absolutely paramount that you get the right orthopedic and physical therapy help so that you heal properly and strongly.

For example, 20% of people who incur an acute ankle sprain develop chronic ankle instability. This outcome can be avoided if you take the time to heal and strengthen the joint sufficiently the first time through our comprehensive physical therapy.

2. Not being conditioned

No matter what activity you engage in, it’s important to condition yourself outside of that activity. For example, you love playing a pickup game of basketball or soccer. A great way to prevent injury is to ensure you’re well-conditioned for these activities, such as running once or twice a week.

We’re happy to sit down with you to come up with adjunct conditioning activities for your sport.

3. Not strengthening

This same conditioning concept holds true for strengthening. There’s no better way to prevent injury and improve your golf swing than to spend a little time in the gym strengthening your elbows and shoulders. Or, you can make your day on the slopes all the better if you have strong knees that help you ski or snowboard with ease.

4. The wrong gear

Another way people often injure themselves is not having the right gear or gear that’s worn out. For example, runners should often replace their sneakers to ensure that the shoes offer good support. But please don’t take those trail running shoes onto a pickleball court, as you can trip and fall because of the extra grip.

Having the right gear for your activity and gear that’s up to date can go a long way toward preventing injury.

5. Not warming up and warming down

We know time is tight, but it’s important that you warm your body up and then cool it down after your activity. Even just a few stretches and some light jogging in place before you hit the court or field will work.

After you’re done, taking a little time to stretch out those soft tissues that you worked hard on will help prevent soreness and stiffness. A good rule of thumb is to make your cool down twice as long as your warm up.

6. Not listening to your body

We know you love being active but listen to your body. If you’re starting to feel tired or achy, call it quits for the day. If you ignore these messages, your decision not to leave 15 minutes earlier can end up costing you weeks, if not months, if you injure yourself.

These tips are general, and we’re happy to sit down with you to develop a more targeted plan for your active lifestyle.

To get started, please contact one of our offices on the North and South Shores of Staten Island, in Englishtown, New Jersey, or Midtown, Manhattan, in New York City, to schedule an appointment.

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