As the weather starts to warm up, you may be very eager to get back to your sport. But before you put your energy into planning, make sure you read this first. Nothing can dampen a potentially good season like an injury.

Whether you are an athlete or a parent of an athlete, it’s important to know how to prevent sports-related injuries.

The Most Common Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them
Some of the most common spring sports injuries include muscle sprains and strains, shin splints, knee injuries, and tennis elbow. Most of these injuries occur due to insufficient conditioning of the muscles and joints.

These injuries and many others can be easily prevented through the following:

Starting off slow
If it’s been a while since you’ve played the sport, it’s important to slowly get into it to prevent injuries. Gradually build your stamina, starting with a regular light exercise and slowly increasing your intensity.

Make sure you are comfortable with a moderately intense physical activity before jumping into any vigorous activity.

Warming up consistently
Always take time for a warm-up routine. Just like with any physical activity, warming up helps prepare your body. By increasing your body temperature and blood flow to your muscles, a warm-up can help reduce muscle soreness and reduce your risk of injuries.

Checking all your equipment
If it’s been months since you’ve used your equipment, it’s wise to inspect them before the beginning of the season. Check everything – from main gear to accessories, making sure that everything is in good condition before you start using them.

Doing a proper cool down
Cooling down is as important as warming up. It allows for a gradual recovery of the body to its pre-exercise state. Cooling down is very important for competitive endurance athletes as it helps regulate blood flow.

Hydrating
Make sure you drink enough water before, during, and after practices. And as the weather starts to warm up, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion can start as muscle cramps and can progress to heavy sweating, weak pulse, nausea, vomiting, and fainting. If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s important to take a break and rest in a cool area for a while.

If you still end up with an injury even if you’ve tried these tips, our doctors at South Florida Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine can help. For appointments, you may call us at (772) 288-2400.