Three leading causes of sports injuries

Sports Injury Causes

A sports injury is something that every person may suffer at some point in their athletic career. In fact, it’s estimated that 8.6 million Americans are injured while playing sports or doing other recreational activities every year. 

Every sport has some risk involved, and this is true for athletes of all levels. A professional athlete can suffer a muscle strain or ligament sprain just as easily as a high school athlete or an amateur. However, there are three leading causes of sports injuries that you can avoid with a little effort. 

  1. Failure to properly warm up

It’s not realistic to expect our bodies to go from zero to maximum effort without risking a muscle strain. Countless baseball players who have pulled a hamstring running to first base can attest to this. It’s important to give the body a chance to warm up and prepare itself for giving maximum effort. Just a few minutes is all it takes to reduce your sports injury risk drastically. 

Excellent warmup exercises that can help you avoid this cause of sports injuries include:

  • Walking
  • Static stretching
  • Performing jumping jacks or jumping rope
  • Lightly practicing sports movements
  1. Playing through muscle fatigue 

Your competitive edge or desire to tough it out may keep you from calling a timeout or requesting a sub to come in, which can be another cause of sports injuries. However, several studies have indicated that sports injury risk goes up as the body begins to tire and the muscles fatigue. You may want to break through your next fitness plateau by playing through being tired, but there is a point of diminishing returns. 

Eventually, this fatigue affects your form and technique, which makes you more susceptible to turning an ankle or tearing a ligament. Listen to your body to know when it may be time to take a break and keep yourself from getting injured. 

  1. Failure to properly cool down

Just as going from zero to 100 is not advisable, going from total effort back to rest can also increase your risk of a sports injury. Failure to properly cool down can cause blood to pool in large muscles, causing swelling and inflammation. Lactic acid also builds up, which lowers the pH of your body and makes your muscles work less effectively. Much like warming up, just a few minutes of walking or stretching after playing a sport can help reduce your injury risk.

Panther Physical Therapy can help you reduce your risk of sports injuries

Are you concerned that these or other issues might cause you to develop a sports injury? Our team of physical therapists at Panther Physical therapy can help you find ways to reduce your injury risk. We offer complimentary screenings that can pinpoint weak muscles, training problems and other issues that can lead to a sports injury. Our team can also build you a personalized therapy plan to tackle such issues. 

In addition to in-clinic physical therapy, we offer virtual care and at-home therapy services that can help you get the therapy you need without leaving your home. You also won’t have to go to your doctor to get a referral before you begin using any of our therapy services. 

Ready to start using our help to reduce your sports injury risk? Contact us today for more information about how we can assist you or to schedule your initial appointment.

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