Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

A Few Essential Tips for Protecting Yourself From A Potential Sports Injury

If you love sports, you know that injuries are often part of the game. One aggressive move, misstep or miscalculation of the ground under you, and you're sure to suffer a fall, slip, twisted ankle and the like. You can also suffer injuries from long-term play, as cartilage and tendons get damaged from all the extra bouncing, impact, and weight put upon them from playing sports. However, you can protect yourself from many injuries if you note a few simple but very important tips; consider the following, and discuss these with your doctor as needed:

Staying limber

Warming yourself up before any game, run, or another activity is important, as this increases blood flow to muscles and tendons and keeps them more flexible and pliable. In turn, you're less likely to pull a joint out of place during play because it won't twist and move very easily. You also want to stay limber and flexible by stretching between games or a run; yoga is very helpful in keeping your muscles loose and limber and ensuring you stay flexible. You can also try gentle stretches of the back and legs, performed several times every week, so you're always flexible and ready to play.

Know the rules

Most, if not all, sports will have rules against contact with other players, or certain moves when on the field. These rules are in place to keep everyone safe, including you. Certain contact with other players may mean the potential for torn ligaments, stretched muscles and dangerous falls for you. Play by the rules in order to keep yourself safe and to avoid injury.

Never play hurt

You may be tired and a bit stiff and sore when it's game time, but you never want to play, run or do anything else while outright hurt. This can mean making even a minor injury worse or delaying healing time. If you're in pain, are overly stiff and sore, or suspect you're injured for any reason, avoid being active and visit your doctor that deals with physiotherapy for a check-up.

Not playing while hurt also means not trying to compensate for an injury or masking the injury with wraps, medication, ice and the like. You may be able to numb the pain of a twisted joint or wrap an ankle or knee so that you don't put pressure on it, but this doesn't mean you won't cause further injury if you play! Always follow your doctor's advice for when it's safe to play again after an injury and never rush that schedule.