How To Prevent Sports Injuries

woman with sports injuries being helped by man
Woman suffering from sports injury caused by running being helped by sports man

Are you worried about getting another sports injury?

Unfortunately injuries are part and parcel of participating in sporting activities. 

You take a small risk of injury every time you step out onto the field or even when you go for a run. 

Sports injuries are common and can occur anywhere in the body from minor injuries to major ones.

The most common injuries being muscular injuries. 

The vast majority of times injuries are caused by overuse or impact and trauma to the part of the body. 

However the injury can happen gradually over time as a result of wear and tear. 

Impact injuries by nature are hard to prevent as you don’t envisage breaking your leg from a bad soccer tackle or rupturing your ACL in football. 

Whether you are a professional athlete or just a casual golfer, an injury can frustrate the life out of you.

None of us want an injury, we want to stay active and continue doing the things we love. 

Some people are more at risk than others to injury due to age, health choices and just how their body is. 

It’s all about how we manage injuries and make sure we’re in the best position to avoid one in the first place. 

Injury prevention is key to allowing you to play your sport for longer and allow you to achieve your goals whilst playing. 

While it sounds complicated, reducing your risks of injury are actually fairly simple. 

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Am I At Risk Of A Sports Injury?

woman warming up before running

Every time you play sports or perform some form of physical activity there’ll always be an element of risk for an injury. 

However these people are more at risk than others:

Not Warming Up

One of the main causes of muscle injuries is failing to do a proper warm up or cool down. 

If you decide to just go 100 mph into an activity, sprinting everywhere and giving it maximum effort without doing a warm up you’re essentially asking for an injury. 

Warming up gets your body ready for activity and increases your range of motion. 

New To A Sport

Similarly if you are new to a sport or haven’t been active for a while your chances of injury increase.

This is because your muscles aren’t used to working in a particular way and you can cause them to strain.

Since you are new you may not know the correct techniques, for instance weight lifting requires a specific technique to make sure you are safe whilst lifting. 

If you go into an activity without knowing what to do you put yourself at a much higher risk. 


Over exercising becomes more dangerous as we age

As we get older physical activity becomes harder as we lose our flexibility making us more susceptible to pulling or straining a muscle. . 

Doing too much can cause a lot of damage to your body, you have to remember you aren’t as young and fit as what you once were. 

As you age you need to make sure you give your body time to recover, it’s ok to stay active but just don’t push yourself too hard.

Injury History 

Recurring injuries are fairly common for those who play just one sport or run.

This is because they often overuse muscles and overtime they muscles and joints get worn out. 

However it is not just recurring injuries that can be the issue. 

If you have had a history of serious injuries, such as a fracture or dislocation you greatly increase your chances of developing arthritis overtime. 

Contact/Impact Sports

A number of sports require people to put their body through a lot of stress and tension. 

These injuries often occur where someone has had impact or contact to an object surface or other people. 

Football is one of the most common causes of contact or impact injuries in the USA due to its physical nature. 

Unfortunately there’s little that can be done in preventing an impact injury as they are often freak accidents that no one anticipates. 

Preventing Injuries 

preventing injuries by warming up

Whatever sport you participate in you want to remain injury free. 

Being out on the sidelines watching your teammates play instead of you can be the most frustrating thing in the world. 

In order to maintain your fitness it is important to take steps to make sure your body is as safe as possible for your activity. 

Sports by nature are physically demanding so you can’t guarantee you will never get injured.

Injuries happen, however if you follow preventative steps it can greatly reduce your chances of injury.

These steps might not be for everyone and obviously every sport and everyone is different, but these general measures should help reduce your chances of picking up a sports injury:

Warm Up

We briefly touched upon the warm up before but we can not emphasize enough on how important a warm up is. 

The warm up doesn’t just physically get you ready for exercise but it is a great way to prepare mentally for what is to come. 

Warming up increases  your heart rate and blood flow which means more oxygen reaches your muscles. 

Not only does the warm up prevent injuries but it also allows you to be more flexible and be more efficient when moving. 

A warm up for light activity may take around 10 minutes, if you’re doing something more strenuous you may want to warm up for longer. 

Dynamic stretching accompanied with a couple of short runs to get the heart rate up are often the go to methods for anyone’s warm up. 


It may sound simple but getting an appropriate amount of rest before your next exercise can be key to avoiding injuries. 

We’ve all woken up with aching muscles after an activity, whether that be a longer run than usual, an intense gym session or your first 90 minutes back on the soccer field. 

Your muscles are aching at this point because they are recovering, they don’t want or need another intense exercise. 

There’s no surprise that athletes that train more regularly are more likely to get injured.

People assume the more you train the better you will become, whilst that might improve your skill set. What you’re actually doing is setting yourself up for injury. 

Rest can make you stronger, it will reduce muscle fatigue and reduce the chance of injury. 

It is recommended that you rest for 72 hours before training a specific body part again. 

That’s not to say you can’t exercise at that time but you just have to be mindful of what you are doing. 

However proper rest also means letting your body heal if you have already got an injury. 

It may be tempting if a friend gives you a call saying their team is one short for tonight or if you just fancy going out on a run as you’re bored in the house. 

Not only is this not a good idea but you risk aggravating the injury more. 

Make sure you have fully recovered and ease yourself back into your sports. You don’t see professional athletes performing right after an injury so why should you?

Strengthen Your Core

woman strengthening core by doing squats

Strengthening your core is actually one of the most important things you can do to prevent injuries.

This is because as your core gets stronger your body becomes more stable which reduces pressure on your knees and hips. 

If you’re picking up a lot of knee injuries whilst running, poor core strength could actually be the cause.

As you become tired whilst running you can lose balance which shifts your weight and balance onto other parts of your body. 

A strong core can also prevent any back pain that you might get.

To improve your core strength yoga or pilates are some of the best forms of exercise to do this. 

Not only are they good for your core but they’re a great way to stay in shape. 

However, if you add a few abdominal crunches and a plank into your warm ups you should notice that your core strength increases. 

Listen To Your Body

This sounds like a fairly simple thing to do but it’s amazing the amount of people who just ignore their own body. 

Listening and understanding your body can prevent so many injuries. 

If you are feeling tired your body is probably telling you that for a good reason. 

Any sports person whether that be professional or casual, not listening to your body can be the biggest mistake you can make.

For instance if you are just starting running set yourself reasonable and achievable goals. 

You’re not going to run a marathon straight away, you’re not even going to do half of one. 

Take it easy and when you feel your body starting to ache take it easy. 

Injury Treatment

physical therapist helping patient's leg

In most minor cases for sports injuries rest is all you need to recover. 

Resting is key to getting your body back to 100% yet so many people are impatient and try to rush their recovery. 

Rest added with hot and cold packs on the injured area should be enough for any minor injury. 

However , Like any injury, sports injuries need to be taken seriously and sometimes they require further treatment

If you feel like you’re suffering from the same niggling injury you can download our free guide How To Get Fit And Stay Fit… With 7 Secret Recovery Strategies That Pro Athletes Know And Use. 

Here at Intecore PT we specialize in dealing with all types of sports injuries from professional athletes to your most casual runner. 

We take your injury seriously but more importantly it’s very likely that we have a solution to help you.

If you’d like to come visit us for a Free 20 minute discovery session with one of our trained physical therapists book here.

Our friendly team at Intecore look forward to welcoming you to our clinic. 

Andrew Vertson