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Sports Injury Prevention
Knowledge Center

Sports Injury Prevention

August 18, 2017
Family photo of people with multiple sports equipment.

Sports medicine deals with the prevention, diagnosis, management, and rehabilitation of injuries related to sports, exercise or recreational activities. Regular exercise enhances muscle and joint function keeps bones strong and decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke. The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons provide suggestions to help you exercise safely and avoid sports-related injuries.


Tips For Preventing Sports Injuries

Warm-Up. Always take time to warm up and stretch before physical activity. Research studies indicate that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm-up by walking, cycling or jogging for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cool Down. Cool down after exercise. Slow, gentle stretching helps to recover from exercise. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

Consistent Exercise Program. Avoid the “weekend warrior” syndrome, compressing your exercise into two days, which does not increase your fitness level. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.

Be Prepared. Local parks and athletic clubs offer lessons for many sports. Proper form reduces the possibility of an overuse injury like tendonitis or a stress fracture. Invest in good equipment, including proper shoes for your sport.

Listen to Your Body. As you age, you may not be as flexible and cannot tolerate the same activities. Modify your activity to accommodate your changing body.

10% Rule. Increase activity in increments of 10% per week. Whether cycling, walking or running, slowly build up to more miles each week until you reach your goal. When strength training, use the 10% rule and increase weights gradually.

Balanced Fitness. Develop a balanced fitness program that incorporates cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility. If you have a sports injury, consult a DOC orthopedic sports medicine specialist to treat the injury or condition. DOC’s surgeon, PA or physical therapists will help design a fitness routine to promote wellness and minimize the chance of future injury.  

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