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Four Common Sports Injuries And How To Prevent Them

If you participate in sports on a regular basis or are an occasional weekend warrior, you know that injuries are often a part of an active lifestyle. Whether you are an avid tennis player, a golfer, a jogger or a sports walker, it's important to do all you can to keep sports-related injuries from happening.

How to prevent common sports injuries

1. Ankle sprains. WedMD calls ankle sprains the number one, most common sports injury. This type of injury happens when you put weight on your ankle rather than the base of your foot. It can happen in most any sport, from tennis to walking to golf. They advice taking time to warm up your muscles before you engage in your sport. Tired muscles are weak and less likely to support your weight.

2. Shin splints. Shin splits is an umbrella term that covers a myriad of injuries to the lower legs. This type of injury is categorized by irritated and swollen muscles in your calves. Shin splits are caused by overusing muscles and by not warming up muscles before exercising. They can also be caused by not building up muscles gradually and trying to do too much too soon.

3. Hamstring strains. Hamstring injuries strike athletes of all ilks, from ballet dancers to basketball players. Sports that involve a lot of jumping and quick stops and starts make athletes particularly vulnerable to hamstring strains. This type of injury, which affects the muscles in the back of your thigh, is generally caused by overworking those muscles. Prevent hamstring injuries by warming up thoroughly before any sport and developing strong gluteal muscles (in your posterior) to help support your hamstrings.

4. Tennis elbow. Tennis elbow, officially called epicondylitis, is characterized by severe elbow pain. It usually results from the overuse of hand, arm and forearm muscles. While you don't have to be a tennis player to get tennis elbow, the ailment is common among those who play that sport. In fact, as many as 50 percent of tennis players get tennis elbow during their careers. You can help avoid tennis elbow by always using the proper equipment for your sport, avoiding gripping the racket (or golf club) too tightly and using a counter-force brace that supports the area just below the wrist.

While it's impossible to guarantee that you won't be subject to sports injuries if you play tennis, jog, play racquetball or even enjoy a day on the lake, taking a few precautions can help to decrease that possibility dramatically. Contact a business, such as the Interior Alaska Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, for more information.