Most of us like to play some or the other sports. As long as we are injury free, it is always great fun, but sometimes sports injuries may take place, which can be a bummer!

Sports injuries are commonly classified into trauma/acute injuries and overuse/stress injuries. The difference between the two is simple. Trauma injuries are due to a sudden twist or pull, or any other impact. Stress or overuse injuries occur when a part of our body is over-exercised without enough rest in between.

Many lists describe the most common sports injuries in men. These lists have minor disagreements, but in general, they agree that the most frequent sports injuries are sprains (tearing of ligaments) and strains (over-stretching or tearing of muscles or tendons). Bruises or contusions are also a common result of trauma, but bruises rarely cause serious complications.

Most common sports injuries include:

  • Bruises
  • Knee joint injuries: Pain, swelling, and stiffness ligaments or tendons injuries
  • Ankle sprain: Sprain, strains, fractures.
  • Cuts and abrasions
  • Dehydration: Excessive fluid loss causes heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
  • Groin pull/strain: Symptoms include pain and swelling.
  • Hamstring strain: Symptoms are a pain, swelling and bruising.
  • Stress fractures: The impact of repeated jumps or running on hard surfaces can stress and break bones.

Playing sports is much fun. Getting hurt is not.

Follow these 6 steps to prevent injuries so you can stay in the game:

1. Warm Up

It is not a good concept to just bolt on to the field and start playing. You should not even start stretching until you are a little warmed up. So take a light jog to get loosened up and ready to play. Increasing the heart rate and circulation; this loosens the joints and increases blood circulation to the muscles. Full-Body Stretch helps muscles to prepare them for physical activity and prevents injuries.

2. Wear Protective Gear

Protective gears are anything you wear that helps keep you from injuries. The gear you use depends on the type of sports.

The helmet is a most frequently used protective shield. It keeps you safe from head injuries when you are playing football, cricket, ice hockey, or baseball. Make sure you are wearing the right and comfortable helmet for your sport. Other sports require eye protection, mouth guards, pads, wrist, elbow, and knee guards, and a protective cup (for boys only). Moreover, don't forget your feet. Shin-guards are a must have gear for preventing trauma induced fractures in sports such as soccer and hockey.

3. Proper healthy nutrition

Healthy nutrition can enhance sporting performance because protein rich diet should provide enough protein to promote muscle mass growth and injury repair. Water is an excellent choice of fluid for athletes to help performance and prevent dehydration. Foods rich in unrefined carbohydrates, like whole grain bread and cereals, should form the basis of the diet.

4. Early intervention and rest

Most of the sports injuries such as painful pulled muscle or sprains and strains are treated immediately with R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) protocol.Many sports physical therapists and athletes remember this short-form to help with sports injuries.

  • Rest (minimizes motion and pressure over of the injured joint)
  • Icing (apply an ice pack) to reduce pain and swelling and decrease blood flow to injured area
  • Compression (light pressure wrap to stop bleeding and swelling)
  • Elevation (to drain the fluids from injured area to prevent swelling)

5. Slow-fast-slow Rhythm

During physical activities, adding interval (slow-fast-slow) training into your exercise routine helps to improve your heart’s ability to beat at a high rate for prolonged periods. That is a real plus for your aerobic fitness. Moreover, oxygen is circulated in your body at a slower rate, so it increases your ability for a longer stay during workouts. The simple rule is that always warm up before any sports or exercise, and always cool down at the end by gently stretching your muscles and breathing out slowly.

Further, when starting any weight bearing exercise after a while, always take precaution that you do not start off with a heavyweight, but a much lighter one that you can easily exercise with. Don’t worry if anyone is looking!

If you manage to follow these simple five rules, you can easily avoid most types of sports injuries and continue to enjoy the sports you like.

6. Do not over-stretch yourself

It is critical to take part in physical activities, to listen to your body and know your physical limits. When you begin a new sport, begin steadily and slowly to avoid muscle pull. If you have not undertaken a strenuous exercise for some time, it is especially crucial to building up your endurance and strength gradually to avoid injury. It is essential when taking part in physical activities, to listen to your body and know your physical limits.