Everyone knows that playing sport has a lot of benefits. It keeps you active, is a great way to socialise and with a range of sports out there – you can really get into something that you love!
But with those benefits, come obvious risks. Whether you’re playing professionally or for fun, there is always a possibility of injury.
Unfortunately, millions are impacted by sports injuries every year. As shown in the graphic below by Serve-Play, there are a whole host of injuries that can occur across a range of different sporting activities.
Injuries are a common factor across the board. Whether it’s in lower impact sports such as golf, to the more obvious wear and tear sports such as running and rugby, risk factors associated with sports injuries are steadily on the increase. This is especially true for youth and young adults.
The most common types of injuries across the world of sport include; bone fractures, tennis elbow (which affect athletes across a whole range of sports, not just tennis), shin splints (common in runners), dislocated joints, ACL ligament tears as well as general sprains and strains.
These injuries can occur for a number of reasons. If a part of the body has been overworked, under-conditioned or poor technique has been used, sports injuries can cause tissue damage or joint problems which could result in long term issues..
So what can we do? Well, it’s important to remember that prevention is always better than cure. A lot of common sporting injuries can usually be put down to a lack of conditioning, an inadequate amount of warming up or poor training practices.
To lower that risk, it’s important to take time out to practise regular stretching and focus on increasing your flexibility. This is especially important if you play sports regularly, as conditioning your body helps to build muscle strength.
It is also important to listen to your body and not overdo it. Taking regular breaks is a great way to minimise the strain on your muscles and ligaments.
Fortunately, most sports injuries can be treated effectively, and without a great deal of long-term damage as a result. With the right physiotherapy and care, most people who suffer from some kind of injury, often return to a decent level of activity after healing.
Regardless of your level of expertise, it’s important to keep yourself as safe as possible. Staying smart and aware of your body will not only minimise potential injury, but will keep you playing the sports you love for longer!