Sports injuries have always been an issue in the United States. In the last several years there has been a noticeable increase in the number of injuries in athletes, especially young athletes. This uptick has been largely linked to overuse, inadequate training, accidents, and wearing improper equipment. As the level of competition in every sport in the U.S. continues to rise, more and more demand is placed on the body. In order for young athletes to preserve their bodies and maintain optimal levels of performance, it is critical to actively prevent injury.
Competition has increased tremendously over the last decade. More and more young athletes are becoming heavily involved in sports and the likelihood of injury increases as a result. In fact, each year about 3.5 million children under the age of 14 and 2 million high school athletes must undergo medical treatment for sports injuries. With 5.5 million minors suffering from injury due to sports-related damage, injury prevention for athletes has become more essential than ever before.
Sports-related injuries and overuse injuries often go hand-in-hand, as athletes place repetitive pressure on the same muscles and joints throughout their training regimen. As repetitive motions continue, the muscles tend to tighten and pave the way for an imbalanced muscle and strength coordination. Without giving attention to building surrounding muscles, such as the body’s core, the ability for the body to perform optimally is greatly compromised.
The following measures should be taken to encourage injury prevention for athletes:
- Take time off: continually applying pressure to concentrated muscle groups without rest can significantly alter the body’s ability to perform and will eventually cause damage
- Take breaks to refuel: without taking regular breaks during a workout, the body is unable to recover and regain strength
- Use the right equipment: far too many sports injuries occur due to inadequate gear and/or equipment, make sure that every athlete involved is properly protected
- Stretch: increased flexibility has been proven to reduce the likelihood of a sports injury
- Train correctly: athletes must establish healthy, safe habits while they train to ensure that they are able to perform during play
- Condition: beyond training to perfect a specific sporting technique, it is important to condition the body in order to build muscle strength
While the above injury prevention tips are certainly useful for athletes across the country, it is most beneficial for each individual to pay close attention to their body. Far too many athletes ignore the signs that an injury may be forming. In these cases, addressing a potential injury immediately may vastly reduce recovery time. Finally, chiropractic care may be essential, especially for serious athletes with serious injuries. Nevertheless, those who actively take measures to prevent injuries will find that they are able to perform at the highest level of their respective sport.