It’s fall again and with the season comes our favorite fall sports. If you are playing on the school team or just playing on the weekend with friends and family it can be a lot of fun – but also can lead to an orthopedic injury.
Causes of Sports-related Injuries Among Teens and Adults
In a study done by the Pediatric Orthopedic Society, football, our favorite fall sport, is the leading cause of sports-related injuries among teens and young adults in scholastic settings. Volleyball, cheerleading, and soccer followed closely behind.
The study also showed numerous other statistics about fall sports injuries. Approximately 225 out of every 10,000 soccer players had an injury that caused them to seek medical care in 2014.
Between 1990 and 2002 cheerleading injuries soared, nearly doubling in that time frame, most likely due to the increase in competition and the need for additional “wow” factor like tumbling and jumping. In fact, in 2013 just under 100,000 cheerleading injuries were emergently treated.
Volleyball proved to be equal in the injury department as nearly 94,000 kids between the ages of five and eighteen were treated in 2013 for injuries related to their sport.
If you are a sports fan or an athlete in these fall favorites, the above numbers could shock and worry you. Luckily, according to research done by the American Acadamy of Orthopedic Surgeons, if these above athletes had taken appropriate measures, nearly a quarter of their injuries could have been prevented. Here are some tips they have to stay safe.
It is important to not skip your warm up and cool down exercises before and after you play. These can be something like walking, jogging, or even an exercise bike to get warmed up followed by some stretches to get your body ready to perform the best it can. This is an essential element to your sport especially if you have a previous injury you have recovered from, as chronic problems may arise if you do not continue to care for it long-term.
Sit out and do not play if you are in pain, injured, or even just too tired. This puts you at a greater risk for injury. Get plenty of sleep and rest prior to any practices or games. It can be tempting to jump right back into your sport, especially after downtime from an injury. Use caution and do not do it until you are fully healed. Trying to play too soon can exacerbate or worsen your injury, causing longer healing and more time on the bench. If you are in pain, listen to your body and stop.
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after any sporting events or activities. If you become dehydrated you may experience muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, or worse problems that will inhibit your ability to perform to the best of your ability or even cause long-term injury or illness. If you are planning on exercising for longer than an hour in a high-intensity manner, it would be a good idea to add sports drinks into the mix instead of just water.