5 tips physical therapists give their patients to help prevent sports injuries

Physical Therapy Sports Injury

There are many benefits to playing sports. Participating in sports helps you exercise your body, keeping you fit and boosting your overall health. Sports are also a great way to spend time with friends, and experts suggest that athletic activity offers great benefits to our mental health. 

Playing sports also comes with the risk of sports-related injuries. Over 3 million people visited the emergency room for sports and recreational injuries in the year 2019. While contact sports such as football always carry the risk of impact-related injuries, many common sports injuries such as muscle strains and repetitive stress injuries can be prevented.

What are the best ways to prevent sports injuries?

Studies have shown that the majority of sports-related injuries happen during practice. Not adequately preparing your body for your sport during the offseason is a recipe for disaster when trying to prevent injury. To help keep you off the bench and in the game, here are five tips that physical therapists recommend for preventing sports injuries:

  1. Warm up before exercise — Stretching and doing some light exercises before training or competing can help prepare your muscles for activity. Warming up is aptly named because these stretches and exercises cause the muscles to heat up. Muscles that are heated up are less prone to strains.
  1. Know your limits — Every athlete wants to be the best, but don’t hurt yourself in the process. Pushing your body too hard and ignoring your pain signals can result in a serious injury. Listen to your body. If something is wrong, slow down and seek treatment before the problem becomes worse.
  1. Strengthen your core — A strong core improves your balance and stability. Good balance is crucial in preventing injury while on the field. Exercises that strengthen the core include abdominal crunches, planks and glute bridges.
  1. Stay hydrated — Dehydration can quickly turn your practice session into a health risk. When you are dehydrated, your muscles become exhausted much sooner. Exhausted muscles are more prone to strains and tears, so it’s important to drink a lot of water before, during and after physical activity.
  1. Recover fully before playing — If you have recently suffered from a sports-related injury, returning to the field too soon can result in re-injury. To avoid re-injuring yourself, check with your physical therapist to see if it is safe for you to resume playing sports.

Can Whatcom Physical Therapy help me treat my sports injury?

Following the tips listed above can help prevent many kinds of common sports injuries. However, accidents can still happen and you may suffer from a sports injury. When this happens, you’ll want an experienced team of specialists to have your back. Physical therapy is an effective way to help reduce recovery time after an injury, as well as help prevent re-injury in the future.

Our team at Whatcom Physical Therapy has years of experience in treating many common sports- and recreation-related injuries, including:

  • ACL tears.
  • Muscle strains and tendinitis.
  • Concussions.
  • Sciatica and back pain.
  • Hip flexor strains.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.