No parent wants to see his or her child go down during a game or sporting event. Seeing them hop off the field with assistance sometimes means a long road to recovery. Worse: it could mean gone are their dreams of playing in the big leagues. Although it’s impossible to prevent injuries 100% of the time there are ways to prevent overuse injuries some of the time and keep your athlete strong and healthy.
1. Condition and Cross-Train Properly
This doesn’t just mean logging endless hours of training time. A new study conducted by Drexel University shows that the right training time with the right exercises are an effective way of preventing injuries. The study highlights a 90-minute workout that reduced the risk of injury in soccer players. However, the same mentality can be applied to other sports as well. Strengthening without overusing, and putting in the time without over-tiring is are key factors in reducing risk.
2. Don’t Just Train Properly, Eat Properly Too
Bone health is critical to reducing bone stress injuries. This is no more important than with female athletes, says one study. Eating not only right amount of calories, but also the right kind of calories made all the difference in the female athlete’s risk assessment. The lower the body weight, the lower the bone density and the increased risk for stress fractures in the athletes of the study. Having a nutritionist or athletic trainer on the athletic staff will help ensure that athletes have the right diet.
3. Seek Medical Attention Right Away
If your athlete starts complaining of pain in the same spot consistently, it might be time to have a medical professional look at it. Even if the diagnosis comes back as no injury, this assessment could mean the difference between getting back to practice and being out for the season. The phrase “no pain, no gain” is popular in sports. However, some pain should be looked at to reduce the risk of injury by catching it early.
4. Make Sure They’re Getting Enough Rest
Between school and sports (and even the part-time summer job), it’s hard to get enough rest when in school. Rest doesn’t just mean taking a break from training, but also getting enough sleep and total mind/body rest. Over-training is one of the biggest causes of injuries. It can easily be avoided simply by knowing the limits and getting8-10 hours of sleep every night. Seems impossible? Maybe, but it should be a priority in injury-prevention.
5. Get An Athletic Trainer On Staff
Athletic trainers are becoming increasingly popular to have on the staff of athletic departments at schools. They not only look for weaknesses to prevent injuries, but they can devise programs that will help prevent injuries as well. Furthermore, they can make sure athletes can properly train and condition, as well as ensure safety.
OSR Can Help Keep Students Injury-Free
With on-staff athletic trainers, club and school outreach programs, and an excellent physical therapy staff, OSR Physical Therapy can help you keep your student athlete injury-free. Moreover, if your athlete does get injured, our certified physical therapists will be there to help them get back to playing the sport the love quickly and safely. Contact us today to talk to us about our athletic training and physical therapy programs.