Preventing and Treating Common Sports Injuries: Info from a Sports Injury Doctor in Napa County, CA

January 4, 2017 1:02 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There are certain sports injuries that are common to professional athletes and pickup game enthusiasts alike. While professional athletes are more likely to have trainers and quick-healing bodies, regular people need to take certain steps to prevent and treat these types of injuries.

For your reference, here are the seven most common sports injuries, according to an injury doctor in Napa County, CA:

  1. Ankle sprains (high and low)
  2. Groin pulls
  3. Hamstring strains
  4. Shin splints
  5. Knee injuries (ACL tears)
  6. Knee injuries (patellofemoral syndrome; repetitive motion injuries)
  7. Tennis elbow

By far the most common categories of injuries are strains and sprains. Sprains are injuries to ligaments, which are the tough, elastic bands that connect bones to joints. Ligaments are very stretchy, but they have their limits, and suddenly forcing them past their limit can cause tears or deformities. Strains, meanwhile, are injuries to tendons and muscle fibers. Similar to sprained ligaments, strained tendons or muscles (also known as “pulled muscles”) occur when they have been over-stretched or over-used, resulting in tears of varying sizes.

Preventing sports injuries is often easier said than done; many injuries are just freak accidents. There isn’t a whole lot one can do to prevent an ACL tear from occurring, for example. Other injuries, however, people bring on themselves simply because they are not properly conditioned to take part in a certain activity, or because they are working themselves far too hard.

This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to get regular exercise. Many strains and sprains can be prevented simply by strengthening the muscles and ligaments. Every workout you engage in should begin with a light warm-up, which will get your body used to the activity before you really begin pushing yourself. Increased blood flow to the muscles makes you more flexible, and could decrease your chance of injury.

Here’s one way to think about it. When you get plastic hot, you are able to bend it and mold it into different shapes. If you do the same thing with cold plastic, however, it will snap and break. This same sort of principle is true for your muscles, tendons and ligaments. When you warm up your body, you will be much more flexible and pliable when you are prepared to push yourself in your workout. However, if you try to push yourself while going into the workout cold, you are much more likely to injure yourself.

You should also know your limits. If you haven’t exercised in a while, you shouldn’t go out and do a six-hour hike right off the bat. You need to be able to work your way up to longer, more strenuous periods of exercise. Otherwise, your body will not cooperate. If you reach a point of extreme fatigue, stop rather than trying to push through and risk an injury.

For more information about preventing common sports and exercise injuries, contact a trusted sports injury doctor in Napa County, CA at Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy.

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