It is important for us to try to prevent injuries in sports. Injury is often defined as unintentional damages to our body, caused by impact and exposure during sports. In sports, the extent and severity of injury can be caused by various intrinsic factors, such as gender, age, injury history, body size, muscle flexibility, fitness level, mental state, skill level, equipments, types of activity, conditioning and environment. It is important for athletes to understand how they can prevent injuries.
Injuries are actually preventable by rules, individual behaviour, skills and techniques. There are different elements related to injury prevention, such as warming up, stretching, bracing & taping, protective equipments, correct biomechanics, suitable equipments, appropriate surfaces, appropriate training, nutrition and psychology.
It is actually possible for injuries to occur without any kind of impact or violent interaction with other players. It could be caused by improper warm up. Warming up is essentially an activity to raise our core body temperature. There are many benefits of warming up. Muscle contractions can be smoother due to reduced viscosity. Others are improved mechanical efficiency of our muscles, improved blood flow to muscles, favourable changes in muscle receptors, improved mental concentration and improved cardiovascular compatibility. It means that with arming up, we should be able to reduce or eliminate the stiffness of our connective tissue and this will lead to better ability to prevent tears from occurring.
We could also prevent injuries by performing proper stretching. We should have the ability to move our joints smoothly and this is an essential component in ensuring good sports performance. There are basic stretching principles that we need to consider. As an example, we should perform stretching before and after sports or exercise.
Stretching should be performed slowly to avoid injuries. Stretching should be performed to the point until we experience tension, but not until we experience pain. There are many evidences that stretching can help prevent injuries during sporting activities. As an example, we should have lower possibilities of muscle soreness and musculo skeletal injuries. Proper stretching should allow us to enhance our athletic performance.
Taping and bracing are other methods used to prevent injuries. They can prevent unrestricted ad harmful motions. There are different indicators related to taping and bracing. It should be considered as a preventative measure to deal with high risk activities. As an example, many basketball players tape their ankles to prevent injuries. Taping and bracing are also useful during the rehabilitation phase. It can be used even for uninjured players after a competition to improve their healing rate.
Warming up, stretching and taping & bracing can shield various parts of our bodies against injuries. Unlike some protective equipments, these technique won’t interfere with our movements and we can perform better in sports. These methods also allow us to achieve proper biomechanics by achieving efficiency in movement. Faulty biomechanics could happen due to improper preparation before a competition. Even without impacts, some athletes could actually suffer from injuries.