Sports Injuries: How Likely will you succumb to them?

With more people involved in sports, whether competitively or recreationally, the amount of people sustaining sports related injuries is also unfortunately on the rise.

According to a National Health Statistics Report on sports and recreation related injury episodes in the United States between 2011 to 2014, general exercise that includes aerobics, running and weight training was the most common activity to result in injuries, at 16.3 per cent.

More people are taking up sports.

About 9.9 per cent of injures came from basketball, 8.3 per cent from football. 7.2 per cent from cycling and 6.3 per cent from soccer.

Common sports injuries

What are some of the most common sports injuries?

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are probably the most common sports injury out there and can happen when the foot twists, forcing the ankle joint out of its normal positioning and causing damage to the ligaments.

This is commonplace in footballers and basketball players, but trail runners are also susceptible.

Lower Back Pains

This is characterised by pain in the back and may be accompanied with lower limb numbness or weakness.

This is common amongst gymnasts because of their repetitive bending postures, and weight lifters, who place immense pressure on their back.

Knee Ligament Injuries

This injury is common amongst footballers and rugby players and is accompanied by a pop sensation that is often followed by swelling and an inability to bear weight on the knee.

Anterior Knee Pain

Also known as runners knee pain, this is common not only amongst runners, but also in cyclists. It can be caused by issues such as cartilage wear and tear and osteoarthritis.

Runners Knee is common amongst runners and cyclists.

Shoulder Dislocation

This is caused by a strong force on the shoulder joint during a traumatic event such as a fall or collision and is common in impact sports like rugby. It can however, also happen in cycling accidents.

How to prevent injuries

Here are some ways that you can prevent such sports injuries.

Train adequately

Before taking part in any sports event, a structured training programme will help to prepare your body to cope with the demands of the event. Also, do warm up and cool down exercises before and after training sessions and races.

Technique 

In technique driven sports such as golf and swimming, learning the right technique is important to prevent injuries.

Use proper equipment

Using faulty or inappropriate equipment can increase the risk of injuries.

For example, runners should use suitable running shoes and not say, a $10 pair that they bought from a garage sale.

Minimise overuse injuries

Have enough rest to ensure that the body has enough rest from rigorous training. This improves performance and reduces injuries.

Using proper sports equipment can help to reduce the risk of injuries.

Consult your doctor

After sustaining an injury, seek medical attention and ensure that your return to your sport is gradual, to reduce the risk of re-injury.

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This piece has been brought to you by Dr Lim Mui Hong, an orthopaedic specialist practising at the Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.

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