Sports injuries are commonly referred to as “overuse” or “wear and tear” injuries. These types of injuries are often common among sports teams as well as active people who play non-contact sports or participate in organized sports (soccer, basketball, tennis, etc.) on their own. There is some difference in what happens to the body between an overuse injury and a traumatic injury; however, often, it puts you out of commission in one way or another no matter how you get an injury. Overuse injuries can be very frustrating because our bodies move differently when we’re injured versus when we’re healthy. Although most of us have experienced a sprain or strain at one point or another, there is still plenty we can do to keep ourselves safe and to stay active!

Stretchingis a common way to prevent sports injuries. Examples of stretching exercises include hamstring stretch, quadriceps stretch, and calf stretch. An efficient way to perform these stretches is to lie on the ground and use a buddy to pull you into the desired stretch. A good time to stretch is after a game or practice when all the muscles are still warm. Stretching regularly will improve mobility and help prevent injury when playing sports.

Risk Factors for Sports Injuries

The following are the various risk factors for sports injuries.

  • Muscle Tightness:

As the world’s largest sports injury prevention charity, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Foundation, Inc. (NATA) have released new research on the relevance of stretching exercises in preventing muscle tightness.

Key Findings:

  1. Ineffective or nonexistent stretching routines are a leading cause of muscle tightness.
  2. The most common cause of muscle tightness is simply inadequate preparation for strenuous physical activity.
  3. Muscle tightness is easily prevented with stretching routines.
  • You’re  Not In Shape:

When you’re running or doing any other physical activity, you should always take it slow at first. Always listen to your body and never push yourself too far. If you’re out of shape, it’s okay to start slow. If you’re just beginning to work out, start with walking as opposed to jogging. When you’re out of shape, you don’t have the energy and hence, your body will be more prone to injury. The only way to gain energy is to rest and to eat well; listen to your body and start slow. As you get better, you’ll naturally increase the pace and endurance and you’ll begin to see results.

  • Muscle Imbalance:

One of the reasons that muscle strains occur is due to an imbalance between opposing muscle groups. When one muscle group is stronger than its opposing group on the opposite muscle’s tendon, the weaker muscle can be strained due to overuse. The most common occurrence of this imbalance is with the hamstring muscle group and its opposing muscle group—the calf muscles. This is because the hamstring muscles are needed to propel a runner forwards while the calf muscles provide the support and strength to hold the runner in place. Because the hamstring muscles are much smaller than the calf muscles, the larger calf muscles can overpower the smaller hamstring muscles, leading to a strain.

  • Muscle Fatigue:

Muscle fatigue is also a reason for a sports injury as sustained and prolonged training can wear off the muscles.

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