Tips to Prevent Sports Injury

Tips to Prevent Sports Injury

Engaging in sports and physical activities is great for overall health. However, it comes with a risk of sustaining sport-related injuries, which can arise from acute trauma or chronic overuse. While accidents are usually not preventable, injuries that occur due to repetitive movements, improper techniques, and insufficient preparation can be minimised. Here, we go through how you can reduce your risk of sustaining a sports injury.

By Arete Orthopaedic Centre
Medically Reviewed by Dr Wang Lushun

Tips to Prevent Sports Injury

Minimise your risk of getting injured and ensure your long-term health by adopting these strategies:

1. Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Before engaging in physical activity, athletes should perform a dynamic warm-up for 5-15 minutes, gradually increasing in intensity. These warm-ups should involve controlled movements that mimic the specific movements of the intended activity, which helps to increase blood flow to the muscles and maximise overall body flexibility.

Cool down with static stretches after an intense activity for 5–10 minutes to help transition the body back to its resting state and prevent muscle stiffness, blood retention, and cramping. Incorporating these activities into the workout regimen can significantly promote recovery and avoid injuries.

2. Strengthen Your Core

Having a strong core can improve balance, stability, and athletic performance. An athlete should engage in core exercises targeting the abdomen, back, and pelvic muscles. These exercises include:

  • Planks: This involves maintaining a push-up-like position, with the body's weight supported by the forearms, elbows, and toes. The body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the heels, and the abdomen and lower back are engaged to hold the position.
  • Dead Bug: Start by lying on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling while keeping your hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower your right arm and left leg towards the floor while engaging your core to prevent your lower back from arching. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

3. Proper Equipment

Proper use of sports equipment and gear is crucial to preventing injuries, particularly in sports that involve physical contact. The equipment used should offer ample support and protection throughout the game or activity. Ensure that the equipment, such as shoes, helmets, protective pads, wrist guards, braces, and mouthpieces fit properly to ensure safety. Additionally, maintain your sports gear and equipment regularly to ensure it remains in optimal condition and promptly replace any damaged or worn-out items.

4. Proper Form and Technique

For injury prevention and optimal performance, it is crucial to prioritise correct form and technique. This helps maintain proper alignment, balance, and efficient movement, reducing strain on muscles and joints. If you are new to a specific sport or activity, start with the basics before progressing to more advanced techniques. A qualified sports trainer or instructor may guide you on proper body mechanics during these activities.

5. Proper Diet and Hydration

A healthy diet is essential for injury prevention. Consuming a poor diet that is high in processed foods and sugar can lead to muscle weakness and reduced cardiovascular endurance. To ensure optimal health and strength, consume a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Furthermore, athletes and active individuals should stay hydrated by drinking water and electrolytes before, during, and after physical activities.

6. Ample Rest and Avoiding Overexertion

It is important for athletes to listen to their bodies and take breaks as needed. Overtraining and inadequate recovery following exercise can cause fatigue, muscle imbalances, and an increased risk of injury. Incorporating regular rest periods into training plans helps the body to recover and promotes muscle and tissue repair.

7. Proper Healing of a Previous Injury

Ensuring complete healing after a previous sports injury is vital. Rushing recovery or returning to sports too soon increases the risk of re-injury. You should wait until your doctor gives you the green light to return to sports safely. Additionally, do not ignore warning signs of fatigue or injury, and avoid pushing through pain to prevent more severe issues from developing.

8. Regular Check-ups with Your Sports Orthopaedic Doctor

Regular check-ups with a sports orthopaedic doctor are essential for athletes, especially those participating in high-impact sports or with a prior history of injuries. These consultations evaluate musculoskeletal health, detect underlying issues, and offer preventive measures to reduce the risk of injuries. Orthopaedic clinics also collaborate with physiotherapists who are skilled in conditioning techniques and sports-specific exercises.

Seek medical attention at a sports orthopaedic clinic if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Persistent pain while participating in or after physical activity
  • Prolonged swelling around a joint
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected area
  • Painful popping sensations
  • Noticeable changes in skin colour
  • Pain that does not subside with rest
  • Deformities in the bone or joint

Arete Orthopaedic Centre is a sports orthopaedic clinic that offers accurate diagnosis and treatment for a full range of sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Our clinic aims to provide patients with effective orthopaedic care to help them regain an active and independent lifestyle. For enquiries and appointments, please contact our clinic at 8772 6928 today.

Dr Wang Lushun
Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS (S’pore), MRCS (Edin), MMed (Ortho), FRCS (Ortho) (Edin)

Dr Wang is a Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon with over 18 years of experience, particularly in the field of sports-related injuries. He is skilled in minimally invasive surgery and advanced robotic surgery. Formerly heading the Hip and Knee Division at Ng Teng Fong Hospital, he has garnered numerous awards for his successful patient outcomes and service quality. Dr Wang’s care extends to national athletes, sports professionals, as well as everyday individuals seeking orthopaedic treatment.

Leadership on Orthopaedic Advisory Boards
Double Fellowships at Centres of Excellence
Senior Consultant with Over 18 Years of Experience
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Arete Orthopaedic Centre

Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
3 Mount Elizabeth,#13-14, Singapore 228510

Mount Alvernia Hospital
820 Thomson Road, #05-51, Medical Centre D, Singapore 574623

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