When you play sports, nothing hurts more than being benched because of a sports injury. Though you can’t prevent all sports injuries, there are steps you can take that might reduce your risk of getting hurt.
At Legacy Pain and Regenerative Medicine in Plano and Addison, Texas, our experienced chiropractor and family nurse practitioner, Dr. Trace L. Alexander, specializes in sports medicine. In addition to providing therapies to support healing of sports injuries, we also offer treatments that improve athletic performance and prevent injuries.
Here, we want to share with you some lesser-known injury-prevention tips that may stop you from getting benched.
Create a balanced fitness routine
Athletes may play many sports throughout the year or stick with one. Whatever sport you’re playing, we know you want nothing more than to get better at your sport, and you may train and practice every day. But doing the same moves over and over again may not help you achieve your goal.
Creating a balanced fitness routine that includes aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching can help prevent injuries and improve your athletic performance by boosting your overall fitness.
You may even benefit from cross-training to work different muscle groups. For example, if you play baseball, you may want to consider track to give your arms a rest and build your leg strength.
Don’t forget to cool down
You may remember to warm up before you start practice or a game, but do you take time to cool down? Cooling down helps your body safely return to its resting state and may decrease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) — that sore, aching pain you feel in your muscles a couple of days after a hefty workout. A proper cool down also improves recovery.
A good cool down should include 5-10 minutes of low-intensity aerobic exercise (walking) followed by some stretching.
Keep your body properly fueled
The food you eat supplies your body with the energy it needs to play your sport. Eating a balanced diet filled with nutrient-rich food benefits your muscle strength and endurance. Not eating a balanced diet affects your athletic performance and may your increase risk of injury.
If you’re having a hard time with your nutrition, we can help. We offer expert nutrition counseling and can design a plan that fits your athletic goals.
Don’t work through the pain
Pain is a sensation your body uses to let you know something is wrong. If you have a sports injury and continue to play or work out, you may make it worse.
The best thing you can do for this type of pain is to stop and make an appointment with a sports medicine provider to find out what’s going on. Early diagnosis and care can help you heal faster so you can get back to playing.
Allow for rest and recovery
You can’t get stronger or faster if you don’t give your body time to rest and recover. Working out every day weakens your body, putting you at risk of injury.
You need 1-2 rest days a week. On your rest days, consider engaging in low-intensity physical activities like yoga or swimming. Called active recovery, these low-intensity workouts help you maintain your active lifestyle (without overdoing it) and keep your blood pumping to support recovery.
Playing sports is a good way to stay fit, and with the right precautions, you have a better chance of avoiding injury. Let us help you create a plan that keeps you active and healthy. Call our office today to schedule a consultation with our sports medicine specialist.