Nasty sports injuries can take a long time to recover from, which can damage your passion for that particular sport, whether it be running or football or martial arts. You may even miss out on opportunities such as competitions and training events because you were stuck at home in a cast. Therefore it’s important to learn how to prevent these injuries so that hopefully they never have to be dealt with. Of course, we all sprain our ankle from time to time, or hurt ourselves through pushing too hard, but what about the common injuries that are all too common?
Knee dislocation is one of the common sports injury nightmares that footballers, gymnasts, and ice hockey players suffer from. It is caused by a direct blow or sudden twist of the leg. Wearing knee braces is an obvious solution, but there are also exercises that can be carried out to prevent injury including squats and lunges. This helps strengthen the quadriceps, which help hold the patella (knee bone) in place. Exercising calf muscles can also greatly prevent this injury, as these too help keep the patella in place. Those who wear high heels often can also develop short calve muscles that can lead the knee bone going pop. Regular stretching of the calve muscle can prevent this.
Most commonly suffered by tennis players (hence the name), tennis elbow is the result of repetitive use of forearm muscles and tendons causing pain on the elbow. Strengthening forearm muscles can help ward off this injury; as well as making sure the racket you’re using isn’t too heavy (this can help pull the muscles). Research has been made into vibration dampeners but hasn’t been found to be an entirely reliable method of prevention. Continuously lifting objects over one’s head can also contribute to tennis elbow.
Tendon and Ligament Damage
The bulk of sports injuries can be linked to tendon and ligament damage. These little links connect to muscle to muscle and muscle to bone. The Achilles tendon is the one of the most unpleasant to go. Making sure you warm up before you start running can help prevent this. Running over uneven ground can also pull these tendons and ligaments. This includes cobbles and rocky surfaces as well as deep sand. Running along the beach might be a scenic way to exercise (and I’m jealous of all you folk that do live by the sea), but you’re better off sticking to the paths and the breakwater.
Pain along the inner edge of the shinbone is known as a shin splint, often suffered by runners. While the exact cause is unknown; factors such as repeatedly running up and downhill, wearing inappropriate running footwear and muscle imbalance are linked. Doing regular ankle exercises such as toe curls, as well as stretches can help. And if you’re an avid runner still clinging onto those well-worn trainers from several years ago, you may want to consider a pair decent running shoes as a treat to yourself.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.