Fall Sports Injury Prevention
Crowded bleachers, concession snacks, cooler weather…fall sports are back! While an exciting time, what happens when you see a player get injured? With over 30 million children and teens participating in sports, it is unsurprising that more than 3.5 million injuries occur yearly. Below is a guide to the most common sports injuries and how to avoid them.
Most Common Fall Sports
While injuries can occur in any sport throughout the year, the most common played during the fall include:
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Ice Hockey
Potential Sports Injuries
With a wide range of ways children and teens can get hurt, there are several types of injuries more commonly experienced in those who play sports, such as:
Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions are commonly seen in contact sports like football, hockey, and lacrosse. This injury occurs in approximately 1.2 million athletes each year.
Strains include overuse of a muscle or tendon that becomes overstretched, which could result in a tear. Commonly known as “pulling a muscle,” most strains will naturally heal over time.
Similar to a strain, sprains occur at the stretching of a ligament. Common body sprains include the ankles, knees, and wrists, which can be healed with rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Athletes who ignore the symptoms of a strain or sprain can lead to stress fractures, resulting in permanent damage. More severe fractures could completely break the bone pulling the athlete out of the game for longer.
By not listening to your body, an athlete could experience a heat-related illness taking them out of the game entirely. While rare, ignoring the signs of heat exhaustion could lead to the possibility of a stroke.
Avoiding a Sport Injury
While some injuries are hard to prevent, here is a list of things athletes can do to help avoid one:
- Stretch/warm up properly
- Wear the correct protective gear
- Avoid playing while injured
- Remain hydrated
- Cross-train to remain in shape
- Understand the rules of the sport
With any injury, it is essential to be proactive in getting treatment. Sports injuries at any age could lead to lifelong consequences if not taken care of properly.