Sports and athletics injuries come with the territory but they can be ridiculously complicated to get over and can leave you on the sidelines for years or even end your career early. That’s why it’s absolutely vital that athletes do their utmost to prevent the possibility of sustaining any injuries as much as they can.

Strains and sprains are the most common sporting injuries and due to their nature are not fully preventable – even the most professional and genial sportspeople and athletes have bad luck sometimes. There is, however, a lot that we can do to reduce the likelihood of sustaining such an injury. When trying a new workout, a new sport, a new drill or technique, we should always go easy on ourselves. Just as it takes time to build strong neural connections, it also takes time for muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones to get used to the new stresses we put them under. Working out every day helps your body become accustomed to what you are trying to do. Build up the intensity over time just as the old saying goes – don’t try to run before you can crawl.

Neglecting your warm-ups is a sure fire way to get injured. You need to loosen up and increase the amount of blood that reaches your muscles. It’s all about flexibility and if you don’t have that, you’re asking for trouble. The same applies at the opposite end – at some point, eventually, you will become fatigued. You can fight on into it but every moment you do that, you are seriously at risk of sustaining an injury. If you have the option, take a rest or substitute yourself. Fatigue is your body’s way of telling you to hit the brake before you crash.

If you are using specialised equipment either in your sport, field or workouts, you should have a full understanding of the effects of its use and master the correct techniques in order to maximise the benefit from it and minimise the risk of sustaining an injury. Don’t be shy to ask for advice and assistance in the gym. People won’t look down on you for it – in fact, on the contrary, they will respect you for showing that you understand the importance of using the equipment correctly. If you are working out at home and don’t have access to a personal trainer, watch online videos and read instructions for best use such as these at http://www.homerower.com/positioning-and-stroke/.

Most athletes will suffer from the most common injuries at some point and they should know how to deal with them in order to recover properly and eliminate the chances of both further injury and recurring injury. If in any doubt at all they should present to a sports doctor or a physiotherapist.

An ankle sprain tears the outside ligaments of the ankle. With this type of injury, it’s important to exercise in order to maintain flexibility and strength – the loss of which could result in recurring injuries. Conversely, groin pulls require rest, ice and compression to aid recovery. Continuing to exercise with it can cause both further and recurring injuries. Hamstring strains can take months to recover from and anterior cruciate ligament tears require surgery and a long period of recovery, even up to a year or more due to their serious and potentially career-ending nature.

Whenever you suspect you may have sustained an injury, take action to protect the area. This could be something as simple as using a crutch to help you walk. Don’t participate in any further athletic activity. Add ice to the area, which will numb the pain and, more importantly, reduce swelling. Continue to apply ice when necessary whilst also having the area wrapped in order to further restrict any swelling. When you’re in a safe area, relax and raise the injured area above the level of your heart, again to keep swelling down.

With this knowledge it should be possible for you to reduce your chances of getting an injury.