All sports have a risk of injury. In general, the more contact in a sport, the greater the risk of injury. Most injuries occur to ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Only about 5 percent of sports injuries involve broken bones. 

The more frequent injuries include sprains and strains. A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon over stretches or tears. A sprain is an injury that damages a ligament. Sprains often occur when a joint undergoes a forceful or sudden twist, exceeding the joint’s range of motion.  

Here are some ways to prevent injuries:

• Wear the right gear. Players should wear appropriate, properly fitted, and sports specific protective equipment such as pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, and shin), helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and/or eyewear. Young athletes should not assume that protective gear will protect them from performing more dangerous or risky activities. 

• Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises before games and during practice strengthens muscles used in play. 

• Increase flexibility. Stretching exercises before and after games or practice can increase flexibility. 

• Use the proper technique. This should be taught and learned in the off season and reinforced during the playing season. 

• Take breaks. Rest periods during practice and games can reduce injuries and prevent heat illness. 

• Stop the activity if there is pain.

• Avoid heat injury by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise or play; decrease or stop practices or competitions during high heat/humidity periods; wear light clothing. In general, one cup of water every 20-30 minutes is recommended to maintain proper fluid levels. 

Here at OSPTI, we work on both injury prevention as well as getting you back out on the field following sport related injuries. We will work to decrease your pain, improve your muscle flexibility, as well as increase your strength to return play safely.

If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at (218) 641-7725 or you can find us on Facebook or our website,

Kaylen Podjaski, PT, DPT, ATC, OSPTI

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