How to Reduce Risk of Sports-Related Injuries

November 9, 2021

sports injury prevention

Regular physical activity is key to staying healthy. But without proper precautions, many suffer common athletic injuries from strains and sprains to more severe injuries like torn ligaments, which negatively impact their quality of life. Wondering how to reduce the risk of injury in sports and exercise? We’ll review the leading causes of sports-related injuries and provide tips on how to prevent them.

How many sports injuries occur each year?

If you’ve ever been injured from sports and exercise, you’re not alone. In 2020, 2.7 million Americans were injured from sports and other physical activities. Of these injuries, about 378,000 were linked directly to exercise, another 425,000 from bicycling, 214,000 from basketball, and 122,000 from football.

What are the causes of sports injuries?

Feeling injured is straightforward: you’re hurt, and you know it. But, knowing what caused it and how it happened? That’s a little more complicated.

Some injuries are unavoidable. After all, accidents do happen. But many can be avoided and understanding the causes of common athletic injuries can help you prevent them in the future. Generally, injuries are caused by the following:

  • Misuse – caused by improper technique or form
  • Overuse – triggered by using a part of the body repeatedly
  • Direct impact – occurs when the force of external contact is greater than a body part can withstand
  • Lack of treatment or healing – injuries can become chronic when they’re not treated or given adequate time to heal

How to reduce the risk of injury in sport

The physical and mental health benefits of regular physical activities outweigh the risks of participation. So, don’t let the fear of injury keep you sidelined. With some precautions, there are plenty of ways to stay in the game.

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of injury in sport:

  • Take time to warm up and stretch before more intense physical activities – and afterward to cool down
  • Use the proper technique – if you’re not sure, consult a trainer
  • Wear the recommended safety equipment like pads, helmets, and mouthpieces
  • Take time off – allow one day per week for rest so your body can recover
  • Add stretching exercises to your daily fitness plan for increased flexibility

One final tip: in the unfortunate event that you get injured, never play through pain. If you’re hurt, contact Orlin & Cohen, Long Island’s premier orthopedic group. We’re open seven days a week. Request an appointment today.