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How To Avoid Injury in a High-Contact Sport

How To Avoid Injury in a High-Contact Sport

For athletes of all levels, few things are as exciting and satisfying as participating in a sport they love, and few things are as frustrating and disappointing as being sidelined by an injury. 

Any sports injury is concerning, but in high-contact activities, injuries can have serious complications.

While our team at Pacific Sports and Spine is skilled in treating all sorts of athletic injuries, we would rather help you do all you can to prevent injuries in the first place. These seven tips can help.

Suit up!

Wearing protective equipment — helmets or other headgear, pads, cups, eyewear, and a mouthguard —is one of the most important things you can do to prevent high-contact sport injuries. 

But it doesn’t stop there: Choose the right footwear to improve balance and coordination and support movements like pivoting and running.

Gear isn’t just for competition, either. Wear it during practice, too, and make sure the gear is specifically designed for your sport and fits you comfortably.

Take warmup seriously

Warming up is essential for high-contact sports and aerobic sports, too. Warmup exercises prepare your muscles, your heart and lungs, and other parts of your body for increased activity, helping to avoid strains, sprains, and other injuries.

When you warm up, you send blood to your muscles, giving them a dose of oxygen, so they’re supple and ready to perform. Cooling down after play allows your muscles, ligaments, and tendons time to gently relax. 

Recognize your body’s warning signs

Many athletic injuries are related to overuse when athletes attempt to push themselves beyond their natural — and safe — limits. Ramping up activity slowly through regular training and practice is a better approach. 

And if you feel fatigued or you have pain, that’s a clear sign that it’s time to scale back before you sustain a serious injury.

Stay hydrated

You might not think hydration could have an impact on your injury risk, but if your body doesn’t get enough fluid, your muscles don’t work as well. You could become disoriented, too. Water is fine, and so are sports drinks designed to replace electrolytes lost during physical activity.

Hone your technique

Many injuries are due to poor form or improper technique on the field. Working with a trainer can help you identify flaws in your technique so you can reduce your risk of injuries — and play better, too.

Consider cross-training

Cross-training means incorporating sports or activities other than your primary sport. By mixing up your routine, you avoid putting too much emphasis on specific joints and muscles, improving your overall strength and flexibility so your risk of injuries drops

Plus, cross-training may help improve your performance on the field, too.

See a doctor at the first sign of an injury

Forget about playing through the pain. Ignoring pain and other unusual symptoms can significantly increase your risk of injuries. Even a minor injury can change the way you move, putting stress on other parts of your body or disrupting your balance. 

Early evaluation is the key to staying healthy and preventing more serious complications.

Staying active and avoiding injuries means taking your sport — and yourself — seriously. If you have any signs of injury, even mild symptoms, don’t ignore them. Book an appointment today by calling our Eugene or Roseburg, Oregon, location.

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