How to Avoid Sports-Related Injuries

Author: Erin Thomson

With the days getting longer and warmer, more adults and children are getting back to the sports they love after weeks or even months of less physical engagement, making many of them more susceptible to muscle strains as they reacclimate to their routines. Exercising outside is usually more strenuous than indoor activities and therefore predisposes people to injury.

Common sports injuries specific to the spring season include ankle sprains and muscle strains. As people become more active, they tend to sustain these types of injuries as they re-engage with their sport or exercise routine.

"For most of these injuries the initial management is rest, ice, a compressive wrap, and elevation of the affected extremity," said Matthew Sardelli, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at McLaren Flint who is also fellowship-trained in sports medicine. "In general, most sprains and strains will resolve with the appropriate measures listed in about 2-3 weeks."

If there is an inability to bear weight on the injured extremity, or if symptoms seem to linger or get worse, this is a sign to seek appropriate medical care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 25 million people in the United States are hurt each year in sports, exercise, and recreational settings.

"The key to avoiding these injuries is an appropriate warmup," said Dr. Sardelli. "A warmup routine of casual aerobic activity such as walking or jogging and stretching will give the body time to adapt to your upcoming workout. Most warmups should last 15-20 minutes to be effective. Also, cooling down after your workout assists in the body's recovery. Again, a period of 15 minutes of stretching after your workout will allow muscles to recover and help avoid overuse injuries."

For more information on the injuries and conditions, McLaren Flint's orthopedic team treats, click here.

If you are looking for a primary care physician accepting new patients, click here.