5 Tips to Help Prevent Sports Injuries

Adults and children alike can benefit from participating in sports. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or you’re in charge of a budding athlete, you probably have concerns about safety. Dr. David Johnston has treated numerous sports injuries at Osteopathic Wellness Center, and he offers these five tips for prevention. 

1. Wear the right equipment

One of the most essential factors for staying safe, regardless of the sport, is to wear the proper gear. If you’re a runner, make sure your shoes are the appropriate size and aren’t worn out. If you cycle, make sure your bike is in good working order. 

 

It’s particularly important to use the right equipment if you or your child plays contact sports. The human skull is tough, but concussions happen much too often, so make sure that any required headwear fits well, is used properly, and most importantly, is used consistently. 

2. Get regular checkups

For children, a preseason physical is often a requirement to play a sport. Adults, however, don’t usually have an external motivation to see their doctor. 

 

Before you begin a new activity, book an appointment with Dr. Johnston. Don’t neglect your regular visits, either.

As you age, you become more prone to sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries, especially if you’ve been inactive, or you suddenly increase the amount of activity you’re doing. For example, if you go from taking an easy run around the block once or twice a week to training hard for a marathon, you’re in danger of injury. 

 

Dr. Johnston can’t predict an injury, but he can give you good advice regarding building up your strength and endurance as well as make sure your body is in good working order to get started. 

3. Hydrate!

You know you need to drink plenty of fluids. Water, especially, helps your body function. But did you know that dehydration can contribute to muscle fatigue, which makes injury more likely? 

 

Staying hydrated helps you move more efficiently, increases your energy levels, helps you have a better recovery after a workout, and can even improve your agility. Regardless of your age, drinking enough water improves your athletic performance and protects you from injury. 

4. Enjoy recovery days

When you start a new activity, it can be tempting to go all in. You want to get fit, be healthy, and go hard! But that is the path toward injury. 

 

It’s critically important to take rest days so your body can recover from tough workouts. Inadequate rest puts you at risk for numerous injuries, including muscle strain and tendon tears. 

 

Make sure your workouts are balanced, spaced appropriately, and slowly build up to more difficult levels. 

5. Warm up and cool down

Before you participate in physical activity, you should warm up. Walk briskly, do a few jumping jacks, high knees, or whatever you prefer. Warming up gets your blood flowing to your muscles, giving them the chance to “wake up” before you ask too much of them. It also reduces your risk of injury. 

 

After your workout, take a few minutes to let your heart rate return to normal. It’s also a perfect time to stretch because your muscles are warm. Stretching is yet another method of preventing injury! 

 

If you’d like to learn more about protecting your body so you can keep on playing, or you’d like to learn more about preventing injuries in children who play sports, book an appointment with Dr. Johnston at Osteopathic Wellness Center. He’s happy to answer your questions and offer you guidance so you don’t have to spend time recovering from an injury instead of enjoying your chosen sport! 


You can easily schedule an appointment using our online tool, or you’re welcome to call us at 203-439-6816 and we will be happy to book your consultation. You can also send a message to Dr. Johnston and the team here on our website.

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