Increasing evidence exists, for all age groups, that physical activity is important in both prevention and treatment of some of the most sizable conditions of our time including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, and depression. Although levels of physical activity is a general concern, increasing levels of leisure time physical activity and sports participation have been reported in some population groups. Injuries are virtually the sole drawback of exercise, but may be a common consequence of physical activity and have been shown to pose substantial problems. Management of sports injuries is difficult, time consuming and expensive both for the society and individual However, sports injury prevention by different kinds of strength training, proprioception exercises, stretching activities, and combinations of these, is accessibleto essentially everyone and requires limited medical staff assistance. This adds several interesting aspects regarding the potential dispersion, applicability, and compliance to these programs.
INJURY PREVENTION Injury prevention is an effort to prevent or reduce the severity of bodily injuries caused by external mechanisms, such as accidents, before theyoccur. Injury prevention is a component of safety and public health, and its goal is to improve the health of the population by preventing injuries and hence improving quality of life.
Warm-up: It prepares the body for exercise. The type of exercise to beperformed determines the type of warm-up. The most effective warm-up consists of both general and specific exercises. General exercises may include jogging, general stretching and resistance exercises. Specific exercises include stretches and movements that are appropriate for the particular activity about to be undertaken. The possible benefits of warm-up prior to physical activity include:
- increased blood flow to muscles
- increased oxyhemoglobin breakdown, with increased oxygen delivery to muscles
- increased circulation leading to decreased vascular resistance
- increased release of oxygen from myoglobin
- enhanced cellular metabolism
Stretching: The ability to move a joint smoothly throughout a full range of movement is considered an important component of good health.There is a hereditary component to general flexibility, and specific joints or muscles may become stiff as a result of injury, overactivity orinactivity. Although increased flexibility attained through stretching was widely believed to decrease musculotendinous injuries, and minimize and alleviate muscle soreness, and perhaps even improve performance.
Taping and bracing: They are used to restrict undesired, potentially harmful motion and allow desired motion.
Protective equipment: It has been designed to shield various parts of the body against injury without interfering with sporting activity.Protective equipment can also be used on return to activity after injury in situations where direct contact may aggravate the injury. Helmets are mandatory in certain sports such as motor racing, motor cycling, cycling, ice hockey, horse riding and American football.
Appropriate training: It is essential for sports clinicians to understand the different elements of training and their possible relationship to injury.
Physical activity performed regularly in various forms like stretching exercises, strength training, proprioception training helps to reduce sports injury.
Author: Dr. Sadhana Meena
Ph.D.(Sports Physiotherapist), New DELHI