All sports have a risk of injury. The more contact a sport has the greater the risk of a traumatic injury. However, most injuries are due to overuse.
The most frequent sport injuries are sprains (injuries to ligaments), strains (injuries to muscles), and stress fractures (injury to bone) caused when an abnormal stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones, and muscles. Point tenderness over a bone should be evaluated further by a health care provider even if there is minimal swelling or limitation in motion. For further questions, contact Amber Harrell.
Sports-Related Emotional Stress is a major risk of injury in relation to athletes. The pressure to win can cause significant emotional stress. Sadly, many coaches and parents consider winning the most important aspect of sports. Athletes should be judged on effort, sportsmanship, and hard work. They should be rewarded for trying hard and for improving their skills rather than punished or criticized for losing.
Reducing the Risk of an Injury:
- Take TIME OFF: Plan to have at least one day off per week and at least one month off per year from training to allow the body to recover.
- Wear the CORRECT Equipment: Athletes should wear appropriate and properly fitted protective equipment such as pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, and shin), helmets, mouth guards, face guards, protective cups, and eye wear. Do not assume that protective gear will prevent injuries while performing more dangerous or risky physical activities.
- Strengthen Muscles: Conditioning exercises strengthen muscles to enhance performance.
- Increase Flexibility: Everyday routine of dynamic warm up before practices/games and static stretching afterwards.
- Use the PROPER Technique: This should be reinforced to athletes.
- Take BREAKS: Rest periods during physical activity can reduce injuries and prevent heat-related illness.
- Play SAFE: Strict rules against head first sliding (baseball and softball) and spearing (football).
- AVOID Heat-Related Illness: Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise. Limit or stop practices/games during high heat/humidity periods and wear light clothing.
Reference: "2016 Sports Injury Prevention Tip Sheet." 2016 Sports Injury Prevention Tip Sheet. American Academy of Pediatrics, n.d. Web.