Exercising or participating in a sport is excellent for your health and can provide significant enjoyment. However, these activities can do you more harm than good if they’re done improperly or if you neglect basic safety routines. In many cases, orthopaedic injuries are minor and resolve on their own. However, they can also be severe enough to hinder movement or leave you with chronic discomfort. In some cases, you may need to see an orthopaedic surgeon to fix the problem. Here are some tips for avoiding these injuries.
Have a Physical Exam
It’s important to be aware of your unique physical limitations and challenges by receiving a physical exam each year. Your doctor will perform a series of basic tests to determine whether you’re fit enough for physical activity. This information will also enable your doctor determine what activities and levels of intensity are right for you, helping you to better structure a fitness plan to your needs.
During this exam, you should tell your doctor if you suffer from any chronic illness or disorder. He or she may be able to provide suggestions that allow you to more safely participate in sports or exercise. It’s very important to consult your physician before starting a new sport or fitness routine or if you have any questions regarding your health.
Warm Up Before
The majority of orthopaedic injuries related to physical activity occur within minutes of getting started. This most often happens because the person failed to warm up their joints and muscles before using them. When joints and tissues are tight from a period of disuse, moving them suddenly causes strain, increasing the risk of injury dramatically. It’s recommended to spend at least five to ten minutes warming up before each session to help loosen the joints and muscles and allow them to move more freely.
Take It Slow
If you’re just starting out with sports or an exercise regime, you need to make sure your goals are appropriate for your current fitness level. It’s tempting to go all-out with your new activity and push yourself to your limits, but this is incredibly hard on your body and can cause serious injuries. It needs time to adjust to new kinds of movement and levels of physical intensity, so be sure to work your way up gradually using your body’s signals as a guide.
Use Proper Form
Regardless of the activity you’re participating in, the need to use proper form cannot be overstated. Failure to do so heightens your risk of serious injury considerably. It’s critical to familiarise yourself with the proper form for your specific activity and adhere to it at all times.
Stop When It Hurts
Forget what you’ve heard about “no pain, no gain” and “playing through the pain.” Pain is your body’s way of telling you there’s something wrong. If you notice any pain, discomfort or any other sensation that doesn’t feel right, stop the activity immediately. If there is pain or swelling, rest the area and apply cold compresses several times daily.
While these tips can help you avoid many injuries, they’re no substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your doctor or local sports clinic to find out whether sports or exercise are right for you.