Ask Sarah: How to Avoid Knee Injuries with Summer and Fall Activities

knee injury

Dear Sarah,

My daughter is entering her sophomore year of high school and last year during one of her summer training camps, I was unfortunate enough to watch her friend experience her first ACL tear injury. Watching my daughter’s friend and teammate go through this emotional rollercoaster both physically and mentally has made me very fearful for my daughter. I do not want to see her get hurt and have to go through the same hardships and struggles that sometimes go along with sports-related injuries. Do you have any advice on how my daughter (and her teammates) can avoid developing serious injuries as they finish up their summer training camps and head into fall sporting events?

Thanks for your help.

Lisa -Coldwater, OH

 

Hi Lisa-

I am sorry to hear that your daughter’s friend had to go through the, as you said perfectly, emotional roller coaster of dealing with a sports-related injury. This is never an easy feat to overcome. Luckily, there are several ways to strengthen your muscles and lower your risks of developing a sports-related injury, which is so important with the summer camps and upcoming fall sporting events.

  1. Stay hydrated. Over half of your body is made up of water. That is why it is vital you continue to replenish your body. Good hydration will allow your muscles to continue to work efficiently and avoid secondary problems. Dehydrated muscles do not work as efficiently, which makes it more likely to cramp up or pull a muscle.
  2. Wear the proper equipment. One of the most effective ways to prevent injury is to make sure you are wearing proper foot attire. Before joining a sport, research what the right type of shoe is for that sport and purchase accordingly to reduce pain. If you have flat feet, make sure you look into specialized shoes to offer the proper support. Trips, slips and falls are the most commonly reported causes of injury, so make sure you have the proper footwear to prevent injuries at all costs.
  3. Be mindful and listen to your body. It is highly important that you know your limitations. If your body is telling you it is exhausted and needs a break, listen to it and sit out for the next 10-20 minutes. Don’t overwork yourself. Likewise, if you are experiencing even the slightest amount of pain or soreness in your muscles, ice the area as often as possible.
  4. Prepare your muscles. If you know there are certain muscles that need to be stronger for the sport you are getting into, make sure you try your best to build the target muscles ahead of time. This can help to improve performance and prevent injury. It can also allow your muscles to be prepared for the intensity of training camps, fall sports, etc., ahead of time.
  5. Be familiar with your surroundings and stay alert. Pay attention to the area and people around you at all times. Do not train with headphones; you need to be able to be cognizant of what’s going on around you at all times. If you are running down the country road, it is vital that you are able to hear whether or not a car is coming up behind you. Likewise, pay attention to your surroundings to prevent tripping, get out of the water if you see lightning (if you are swimming), etc.
  6. Warm up and cool down. Never, ever skip a warm-up or cool-down session. These two important sessions help prepare you both physiologically and mentally, reducing the chance of joint and/or muscle injury. Let your warm-up and cool-down intensity cause perspiration, but not fatigue. Good examples of warm-up and cool-down activities include walking or jogging, biking, stretching, and much more.

 

Lisa, I hope these tips help your daughter to prevent injuries this year. Please feel free to share this information with her entire team in order to prevent injuries amongst everyone. If you have any further questions on how to prevent sports related injuries, or what products we offer that can help as well, please feel free to give us a call at 419.678.4979 or visit our products page today!

Enjoy your time watching your daughter play sports this summer and fall!

Sarah at New Visions

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