Sport-Related Injuries and How to Avoid Them


avoiding-sport-related-injuries

Posted by Dr. Scott Wilson | 01-Mar-2022

Staying active through participation in sports can provide tremendous benefits to our overall health and well-being. It can improve our cardiovascular functions, strengthen our muscles and improve our balance and agility. It can even relieve stress and improve mental health. However, sports demand a lot from our bodies. Sport-related injuries are a risk that we accept when we decide to participate. Fortunately, there are things we can do to help mitigate this risk.

Sport-Related Injuries from Four Common Sports

Before we look at how to prevent sport-related injuries, here’s an overview of the injuries associated with four key sports that many Canadians engage in during the winter and early spring.

Hockey-Related Injuries:

As a full-contact sport with sharp blades, hard boards, and a vulcanized rubber puck travelling at extreme speeds, it’s no wonder that hockey produces its fair share of injuries among Canadians.

Hockey players frequently suffer from concussions, and hockey is responsible for the highest incidence of cervical spine injuries in sport. Fractures, broken bones, and joint separations are also commonly seen among hockey-induced injuries.

Skiing and Snowboarding-Related Injuries

Skiing and snowboarding also account for a fair number of sport-related injuries. However, injuries stemming from skiing versus snowboarding do differ. Skiers tend to suffer more frequently from lower-body injuries, particularly knee injuries. Conversely, snowboarders more commonly experience upper-body injuries such as wrist and clavicle fractures, and shoulder dislocations.

Snowmobiling-Related Injuries

As snowmobiling continues to increase in popularity, snowmobile-related injuries continue to increase, as well. Modern snowmobiles can reach top speeds of between 70mph (113km/h) and 120mph (193.km/h) and excessive speed is a factor in almost every snowmobile accident. Alcohol is also not an uncommon factor. Since falls and collisions account for a significant portion of snowmobile-induced accidents, head and neck trauma are common, as are spinal issues, and breaks and fractures in the extremities.

Cycling-Related Injuries

Cycling is extremely popular across Canada, and with that higher participation comes a higher rate of injury. According to the Canadian Institute of Health Information, in 2017, cycling accounted for the most sports-related hospitalizations by a significant margin. Some of the most common injuries from bicycle accidents include head injuries, in the form of concussions and fractures, as well as shoulder fractures or dislocations. Cyclists may also experience impact injuries like a broken collarbone or road rash from falling, or lower back pain from hunching over the handlebars for significant periods of time.

Avoiding Sport-Related Injuries

Specific sports tend to have specific or sport-related injuries. However, there are some common steps, including utilizing proper form and listening to our bodies, which can be taken to help avoid injury in almost all sports.

Equipment

Wearing appropriate equipment for your sport is important for guarding against injury. Routinely checking the quality and state of that equipment is also crucial. Wearing a helmet is highly effective in avoiding fractures to the skull. A helmet can also prevent and/or decrease the severity of concussions. Of course, any padding or protection recommended or required by experts or should be used.

Form

Many sporting injuries occur when we participate without using the proper form. When participating in any given sport, make sure to pay attention to your form and watch for the signs of an imbalance. Have friends or teammates check your form and give you feedback, so that you can make improvements and avoid injury. You can even record yourself as you execute a movement, so that you can see your form from an outside perspective. You may even want to consider engaging a qualified coach for training or guidance.

Warm-up and Cool-down

Participating in sports can require strength, flexibility, balance and agility. It frequently requires extensive effort and strain, so, it’s essential to properly prepare your joints and muscles. Be sure to warm up and stretch before undergoing any sporting activity. And once you’re done, take the time to cool your body down and stretch out afterwards, too. Pushing your body out of its comfort zone has its role in sport but you should also know your limits and stay within them.

Environmental Conditions

Regardless of your sport, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. For outdoor sports like cycling, skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, it’s important to pay attention to weather conditions. You should map out a designated route free from foreseeable obstacles and maintain a speed that you can control. Keep your eyes scanning the horizon for any potential hazards, and always remain alert. Abstain from sports if you’re tired, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, don’t try something new and dangerous in foreign conditions, and don’t push yourself past your experience level in order to impress those around you.

Recovering from Sport-Related Injuries

Despite our best efforts, injuries do occur. If you have experienced an injury from sport, there are steps that you can take to help yourself recover as fully and as quickly as possible. These include seeking the help of experienced healthcare professionals, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced and healthy diet. All of these can help your body recover and ensure you have the strength, balance, flexibility, and range of motion necessary to return to active living.

 

If you’ve suffered a sport-related injury, contact us today and let our team of highly skilled Physiotherapists and Chiropractors show you why at Physiomed, Healthier Starts Here.


Dr. Scott Wilson

Dr. Scott Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of Physiomed; one of Canada’s largest franchised networks of inter-disciplinary healthcare clinics. A graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Wilson founded Physiomed in 1994 and has since grown Physiomed to over 30 clinics in Southern Ontario and British Columbia. With hundreds of practitioners from over a dozen disciplines, Dr. Wilson and Physiomed have helped over 100,000 Canadians with physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, orthotic therapy, compression therapy and clinical conditioning as part of a program of rehabilitation and health optimization. In addition to helping patients improve their physical and mental well-being, Dr. Wilson has also mentored hundreds of practitioners to provide better care while enjoying more fulfilling careers. He is also a keynote speaker on many health related topics including how physiotherapy, chiropractic and health & wellness treatment can help with stress, weight loss, and unlocking the true potential within to achieve lasting physical well-being.

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