- Warm up before exercising – Invest at least five to 10 minutes in stretching and loosening the muscles before beginning your activity. This will increase blood flow to your muscles and reduce muscle tension.
- Cool down after exercising – It’s important to allow muscles to gradually cool down after you are done exercising. Muscles contract during repetitive activities and can become shortened permanently. Stretch them out to avoid this from happening. Muscles are less likely to strain or spasm if stretched after exercise.
- Carefully select which sports you participate in – If you have a sore back or knees, running or jogging will aggravate the injury. Find something that won’t impact tender areas.
- Establish a routine – Establish a minimum of three 20-minute workouts a week. Working out, even vigorously, only once a week puts you at greater risk for injury.
- Take care of injuries – When you do experience an injury, make sure to get proper medical attention and allow the injury to heal before resuming your activity.
- Use the proper protective equipment – Wear protective pads, helmets and any other gear that’s recommended for your particular sport. Make sure the equipment is in good working order. If it’s worn or broken replace it immediately.
Any time a bone is hit with a force greater than it can withstand, a fracture or break occurs. The seriousness of the break depends on its location and the damage done to the bone and the tissues around it.
Muscle strain is commonly referred to as a pulled muscle. When too great a demand is put on a muscle, soreness will result. A more serious strain or pull will cause tearing of the muscle. The most common areas for muscle strain are in the hamstring, the back of the thigh and the groin.
Ligaments hold bones together and keep the joints in position. When ligaments are torn, pulled or strained, this injury is called a sprain. Knees, fingers and ankles are most susceptible to sprains.
Surrounding the tendons and allowing them to slide easily over other muscles or bones is a small sac of fluid called the bursa. When the bursa becomes inflamed from overuse or injury, this is called bursitis.
When the tissue (tendon) that connects muscles to bone becomes torn and inflamed, this is called tendinitis. Tendinitis is slow to heal because the tendon is in constant use. Even when it does heal, a painful scar may be left on the tendon. It most commonly occurs in the shoulders, heels and elbows.
The Achilles tendon is the tough, fibrous cord that attaches the calf muscle to the heel. Achilles tendinitis occurs when the tendon becomes irritated and inflamed.
Small sprains of the ligaments of the knee as a result of overuse or misuse cause pain in one or both knees.
Many people who experience tennis/golfer’s elbow have not played either sport. An injury to the outside of the elbow is referred to as tennis elbow and an injury to the inside as golfer’s elbow. Tiny tears in the tendons that attach the muscles of the lower arm at the elbow cause the pain. A variety of activities can be the cause, but all involve a repeated rotary movement of the forearm.