Best defense for the most common sports injuries
Admit it. That feeling, the one you get from watching your favorite team run up the score on a difficult opponent, is something you’d like to bottle and unleash on your own sports rival during that next game of hoops, flag football or even baseball. But how can you channel your inner winner without getting sidelined by some of the most common sports-related injuries? According to Dr. Jon Kimball, an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon at Laser Spine Institute, the key is simple. And it all begins with putting a plan in place to protect yourself.
“I recommend a year-round routine of core and cardiovascular conditioning to minimize the risk of most injuries,” says Kimball. And he should know. As the former team spine consultant for both the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, Kimball has seen his share of sports injuries. And he says, it’s the most common ones, like muscle strains, back strains and ligament sprains, that can often do the greatest harm to your back. But other injuries, like those sustained after a collision, can also adversely affect the nerves around the shoulders or neck, producing a significant amount of pain.
So other than giving up the sports you love and sitting on the bleachers, what’s your best defense to avoid sports injuries? Here a few tips Dr. Kimball recommends to help you stay healthy and safe when playing sports this season:
- Walk it out. A simple, yet effective introductory exercise for both lower back and cardiovascular conditioning is a brisk walking program.
- Strengthen your core. One way to limit injuries from overuse is to develop good strength and conditioning in your core. Other proven methods include yoga and Pilates.
- Think before you lift. Adapting proper mechanics and techniques every time you lift can help keep back injuries at bay.
- Enlist an expert. I always recommend working with a trained professional when beginning an exercise program because proper technique is crucial to limited injury and maximizing results.
No matter what sport you play, Dr. Kimball believes there’s only one sure way to avoid the injuries that come with them.
“The best treatment for all of these injuries is prevention,” he says. And with any sport or exercise program, consulting with your physician before you begin one is highly recommended.
If you have been injured playing sports and conservative treatments like physical therapy, massage and chiropractic fail to provide the lasting relief for your neck or back pain, call Laser Spine Institute for your no-cost MRI review.*