Common sports injuries and how to avoid them
There's nothing more frustrating than getting injured. Whether it's on the run up to an event, in the middle of a team sports season or just in your day-to-day exercises, there's no convenient time to get injured.
That's why we've looked into the top 5 most common injuries and their causes to help you stay injury free in 2013.
Considered one of the most common running injuries, runner's knee is the common name for inflamation of the tendons which hold the kneecap in place. Severe cases can pull the kneecap out of alignment.
- over training
- ill-fitting or worn out shoes
- over reaching running gait
Simple ways to avoid runner's knee:
- include rest days in your training
- replace running shoes every 300-400 miles run
- cross train with strength exercises and low impact flexibility training (such as yoga and pilates)
Although the common name for lateral epicondylalgia may suggest it is exclusively suffered by racket sports players, there are many different ways one can develop tennis elbow. The inflamation of the tendons and muscles of the forearm is a type of repetitive strain injury which can be found in athletes who participate in swimming or climbing as well as the more commonly known tennis players.
- repetitive lateral movement of the arm
- repeated impact on the arm when extended (such as contact of the ball with a racket)
Simple ways to avoid tennis elbow:
- strengthen the forearm with resistance training
- perform swings or repeated movements with consistent good form
Lower back strain
This can be experienced by any athlete and, annoyingly, often occurs when performing a simple day to day task rather than in a great sporting feat of fitness!
- poor posture when sitting at a desk
- lifting with the back instead of the knees
- twisting awkwardly
Simple ways to avoid lower back strain:
- build a strong core muscle set through body weight exercises such as squats, push ups and planks
- sit up straight when at a desk or table
- aim to improve flexibility in your lower back, glutes and hamstrings through stretching
These are one of the most commonly talked about injuries which regularly afflict runners and team sports players alike.
Common causes of shin splints:
- training on hard surfaces
- 'heel slapping' running style
- dramatically increasing training load
Simple ways to avoid shin splints:
- have your running gait analysed to check your stride length is not over reaching and you are not 'heel slapping'
- strengthen ankles and lower legs with exercises like calf raises
- vary the intensity of training - give yourself rest days
- vary the running surface you train on - asphalt as opposed to concrete will lead to softer impact with each stride
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