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Orthopedic services

Avoiding sports injuries

If you don’t have adequate strength and flexibility, injuries such as strains, sprains and even stress fractures are more likely to occur.

Conditioning

The key to avoiding injuries is to have a consistent exercise/conditioning program. Try to maintain at least a moderate level of activity three to five times a week, and strive for a workout that combines cardiovascular, strength training and flexibility exercises. Increase the amount of exercise gradually and chart your progress.

Warm up and cool down

Warm up by marching in place and moving your arms in circles. Then, stretch your shoulders, back, hips, thighs, calves and hamstrings. Try to warm up with sports-specific stretching, such as slowly swinging a golf club or taking an easy jog up and down the sideline of a ball field.

Take time to learn how to do your sport correctly and remember to use the right gear to help prevent injuries.

Don’t skip the cool down after a vigorous workout or game either. If you run, make sure you jog/walk for up to five minutes afterward so that your heart rate comes down gradually.

Weight and age limitations

Eating right and maintaining proper body weight goes a long way toward a healthy, fit lifestyle. If you’re overweight, you’re increasing the strain on your bones and joints, especially ankles, knees, hips and back.

Most important, accept your body’s limitations. You may not be able to perform at the same level you did 10 or 20 years ago. Modify your activities if necessary and don’t let ego override good judgment. If you’re feeling tired or are in pain, don’t start or continue exercise or strenuous activities.

Seek medical attention

If you've pushed it too far, here are some indicators to seek medical attention:

  • visible dislocation of a joint or broken bone
  • severe pain, swelling or numbness
  • unable to tolerate any weight on the area
  • unable to move an injured part of the body
  • increased swelling, joint abnormality or instability accompanying the pain or dull ache of an older injury
  • an injury that does not appear to be healing

During any activity or workout, if you experience chest discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness, stop exercising and seek help!

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