Prevent strains and sprains during sports play

Metro News Service
Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Scholastic sports are popular activities. While playing sports has many benefits, including increased physical activity, that impact both the body and the mind, such participation is not without risk.

Players must weigh the benefits against the potential for injury carefully while educating themselves about the ways to prevent injuries.

Massachusetts General Hospital Orthopaedics says that the majority of sports injuries are a result of minor trauma to muscles, ligaments and tendons.

These are commonly called sprains and strains. A strain is an injury to either a muscle or a tendon caused by overuse, force or stretching. A sprain is an injury to a ligament that is caused by a stretching or tearing.

Signs and symptoms of sprains and strains include pain, swelling, bruising, and decreased range of motion, offers eMedicineHealth, a health information site. Most sprains and strains can heal completely with adequate treatment, but there’s also a high risk of re-injury.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges students (and their parents) to make sports safety a priority to reduce the incidences of sprains and strains.

— Wear the right gear, which includes supportive shoes, gloves, helmets, pads, and other pieces applicable to the sport.

— Stretch and condition muscles, tendons and ligaments prior to play by warming up. Routine stretching also can help the body stay limber.

— Use proper form and technique. For those who are unsure, seek instruction on proper technique from coaches.

— Take breaks and time off from sports play. Training every day may seem like the best way to improve your skills, but it could fatigue the body and increase the risk of injury from overuse. The AAP advises taking off at least one day per week and at least one month off per year to allow the body to recover.

— Do not play through pain. If you’re feeling pain, take time off and give your body ample time to heal as advised by a doctor. If you don’t sit out when feeling pain, you may do more damage, and the injuries will only take longer to heal as a result.

Sprains and strains are common sports-related injuries.

By conditioning oneself, avoiding sudden increases in training intensity and wearing supportive gear, studentathletes can help avoid these painful conditions.