Top 10 Injury Prevention Tips to get you through the season!
The sporting season is on and competition is heating up! Whether you have started your season or it’s approaching the finals or state/national level competition, we understand it is vital for you to be at the top of your game! There is nothing worse than an unexpected injury that takes away your chance of winning and achieving your sporting goals!
So here they are, the top 10 tips to prevent injuries from our consultants at The Brisbane Spine Clinic.
1. Stay Hydrated
Always ensure you replenish water and electrolytes through water and some fruits. This will keep your muscle and nervous system functioning at its best and prevents you from getting dehydrated.
2. Adequate Sleep
Our body needs adequate sleep to repair itself. Lack of sleep can lead to a lack of concentration, lower energy levels, and a higher injury rate. It is recommended to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night to perform at your best.
3. Pace your training load
We understand that there are times where you need to increase the load and intensity of your training in order to achieve your sporting goals. However, training too fast too soon can lead to an increased risk of developing overuse sports injuries. This effect is highlighted if you change your training environment (eg. cross country runners changing training terrain). It is important to pace your training and increase your load gradually.
4. Check your shoes and gear regularly. (Replace if necessary)
Certain sports such as cross country running, tennis, cricket, and cycling require athletes to use a high standard of training gear. Like anything, shoes, gear, and equipment can wear out over time. Sometimes even new equipment may not be adjusted to suit you personally (eg. wrong string tension, incorrect bike set up…etc.) and may lead to damaging results on your body! It is vital that you check your sporting gear on a regular basis and consult your coach or one of our musculoskeletal consultants here at The Brisbane Spine Clinic to ensure your equipment is adjusted in good form to help you deliver and perform at your best.
5. Check your technique
High-level athletes deliver their performance consistently by using techniques that yield the highest efficiency and best suited to their body type. Incorrect biomechanics or techniques will increase your chance of sporting injuries (eg. lack of thoracic rotation and compensated with overstraining of the shoulder, low back, and hips for tennis players). It is vital to check with your coach or consult with the team at The Brisbane Spine Clinic to ensure you always deliver the best performance with the best technique!
6. Do your warm ups!
It is easy to get straight into training or a game. The adrenaline rush will take over and you feel unstoppable! To avoid injuries, it is important you warm up first. This is particularly important during winter times and when the season has just started. During winter time, our muscles are not as flexible, without warming up to gradually gain the flexibility of our muscles will increase your chance of a severe strain! We recommend warming up of 5-10min and done 20-30 min prior to training or sports.
7. Train your balance and reaction time!
When injuries happen, it happens all of a sudden and in the blink of an eye! It is important to train up your reaction time so your body can react quickly, in time to minimise or avoid injuries altogether. Examples of these are balance board exercises, speed ladders for soccer players, scissor leg side sprints…etc.
8. Strap up!
If you have a pre-existing injury that always seems to flare up (like a rolled ankle or unstable wrist, previously torn ACL in the knee etc.) it is worth the time and effort to tape up these areas. This will allow enforced stability for the high-risk unstable joints or weak muscles. Please consult with our team at The Brisbane Spine Clinic to find out how to tape up your injuries!
9. Regular treatment sessions to fine-tune your body
It is not uncommon for many athletes to maintain the best physical performance with regular treatment to achieve consistent muscle flexibility and function! Here at The Brisbane Spine Clinic, we have helped many athletes to maintain their best form by providing regular treatment sessions. It allows any biomechanical dysfunction to be picked up and treated before it has a chance to develop into a serious sporting injury! Please contact our consultants at The Brisbane Spine Clinic to help you with this!
10. No Smoking, No drinking
The damaging effects of smoking and drinking are common knowledge. Although most athletes do not smoke, it is more difficult to control drinking habits, especially in a social setting. Whilst drinking socially is OK, it is important to control how much you drink, as excessive alcohol can lead to poor muscle and bone function and increases your chance of injury if drinking habit is not kept under control.