Playing Safe During Sports : Avoiding Injuries

Playing a sport is a fun way of staying in shape and keeping your body running at its best, but some organised sports can put you at risk of injury. While some sport injuries can be unavoidable if caused by an accident, there are some that can be prevented through adopting measures to play it safe while playing sport.

Hydrate Sufficiently

No matter which sport you play, it is essential to maintain sufficient water intake in order to avoid dehydration. Water is an important element for the body to be able to regulate temperature, so dehydration, while playing or after playing sport, can be extremely dangerous as it can cause the body to overheat. Dehydration also causes less oxygen to be transported around the body so your performance can be adversely affected if you are not drinking enough water. At Salisbury Super Sports we encourage our players to have a water bottle handy all the time, so that they do not risk becoming dehydrated.

Wear the Right Gear

Wearing the right clothing is a really important part of looking after your body’s well-being, including wearing appropriate footwear. If you are wearing too many clothes it may cause your body to overheat and sweat more than it needs to, which will dehydrate you quicker. Conversely, if you are not wearing enough clothes it can make you cold and cause the body to work harder to warm you up. Choosing clothing that is appropriate for the game you are playing is another important part of avoiding injuries, including wearing the correct padding and safety protection if needed.

Know Your Limits

Being a hero might boost your ego initially, and get you five minutes of fame but this will be short-lived if you wear yourself out too early and perhaps injure yourself. Knowing your own limits is about appreciating where you are at right now, and being responsible for looking after your own wellbeing. If you are new to a game then allow your body time to acclimatise to the increased physical exercise and build your fitness gradually to avoid uncomfortable pulled muscles.

Treat Injuries

At Salisbury Super Sports we encourage you to let staff know if you have incurred an injury while playing sport, and injuries such as broken bones and concussions will need to be treated immediately by seeking professional medical attention. Injuries that are not so serious can be tackled by using the RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate.

Common Injuries – Prevention and Treatment

In a perfect world we would be able to play any sport we choose without the risk of injury.

For most of us we can attend exercise classes or play group sport the majority of time without incident, provided we prepare properly for our exercise. Please see our blog on the correct way to prepare in our blog post http://supersports.com.au/warming-up-for-summer/.

Today we want to talk with you about the most common, minor injuries, how to prevent them, and what to do if you should sustain one.

Prevention

Apart from the obvious, which we have mentioned on the Salisbury Super Sports blog regarding warming up, we would also like to add that if you have not participated in regular exercise for some time, you cannot expect to be able to go like a pro straight away.

When you decide to participate in one of the great indoor sports we offer here whether it be soccer, cricket, netball or handball you need to give yourself time to work up to playing the game at your optimum.

Start to do some regular walking and low impact exercise to get your muscles accustomed to being used again.

Swap out with a team member if possible when you feel your muscles have had enough. Muscle fatigue is a big contributor to injury.

Sprains

A sprain is a severely stretched or torn ligament. Usually you would sprain ankle ligaments that are situated on the outside of your ankle. High ankle sprains are particularly slow healers.

To ensure the best possible recuperative result, it is important to gently exercise a sprained ligament to prevent loss of strength and flexibility.

Muscle Strains – Groin or Hamstring

A side to side motion whilst under pressure is the cause of groin strains. Compression, ice and rest are recommended for this type of injury. Too early a return to exercise can exacerbate it and cause long-term issues.

Surprisingly, 3 muscles form what we call the hamstring. A severe injury can take up to 12 months to heal. This is due to the constant stress on the muscles just by walking. Again, rest is best wherever possible to ensure long-term healing.

Shin Splints

A strenuous training programme that includes running on hard surfaces such as bitumen roads or cement sidewalks can cause much pain to the shins. Easing yourself gently into exercise is the way to avoid this type of injury. Ice and rest will become your best friend should you sustain a shin splint. In rare cases, you may sustain a stress fracture of the shin, so if pain persists, it may be prudent to visit your GP.

 

Warming Up for Summer

With summer around the corner we have seen many a determined face re-enter our domain after a long winter absence.

Certainly, the lure of the beach calls but not with the winter weight on!

Salisbury Super Sports encourage all our members to keep up their sporting activities throughout the year but there are those few who find the colder, shorter daylight hours a deterrent to enjoying a physical workout.

This is why we want to re-iterate what we have mentioned before about the importance of a warm up prior to playing any physical game or sport before you launch into your summer routine.

So what can you do to get your body ready for a decent game?

Why Warm Up?

Why do we stress the need to warm up so often?

If you have warmed up your body and most importantly your muscles before a game of indoor cricket, soccer, netball or handball at our centre, you are giving yourself the edge over your opponent but, most importantly, allowing your body the opportunity to be prepared to play the game completely injury free.

The most common injuries sustained whilst playing a fast paced game is muscle and ligament strains – if we had a dollar for every time we have heard someone say “I pulled a hammy”. Need we fill in the rest?

Have you noticed what football players of any code do when they are on the sidelines waiting their turn to go out into the field?

They are running, squatting, jumping, and getting a rub down. Whatever it takes to keep those muscles warm, joints loose, blood flowing to the limbs and ready for anything.

Whilst you may not be an A league player, your body will still require a warm up.

Warm Up Tips and Suggestions

A warm up should generally consist of 20 to 30 minutes of gentle exercise.

Start with a nice walk around the block. Once your limbs are used to the regular movement you can increase it to a slow jog.

Why not make plans for the whole team to meet half an hour earlier and go for a walk / jog together? It will give you an opportunity to catch up with each other’s news and to let you get rid of any “rubbish” you have collected as you travel through your day.

You don’t need to knock yourself out – you’ve got a game to play right? So just take it slowly and easy but keep it all moving.