Brent Carlson, MD Orthopedic Surgeon
Brent Carlson, MD Orthopedic Surgeon: (800) 322-1747
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Patient Education

Injury Prevention

The most common sports injuries are sprains, strains, ligament tears, fractures and dislocations. These injuries may have significant impact on your ability to continue playing your sport or even go about your work or home activities. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Prevention of sports injuries

  • Physical fitness: You should be physically fit to play the sport. Follow a regular conditioning program with sport-specific exercises as much of the year as possible.
  • Know your sport: You must know and follow the regulations of the game you are participating in. Practice under the guidance of an expert-coach if possible.
  • Protective gears: Wear sports gear that fits well and provides adequate protection. Use of protective pads, mouth guards, helmets and gloves is required in certain sports like football, hockey and lacrosse. They may be suggested in others, such as skiing.
  • Rest: Continuous sport may make you tired and make you susceptible for injuries. Adequate rest is necessary to get rid of fatigue and make you stronger. Do not play when you are tired or in pain
  • Warm-up: Always do warm up exercises before you play any sport

For adults

  • Don't be a 'weekend warrior' packing a week's wroth of activity into a day or two.
  • Increase your exercise level gradually over a period of weeks.
  • Learn to do your sport correctly and efficiently.
  • Accept your body's limits.
  • Strive for total body workout of cardiovascular, strength-training and flexibility exercises.

For parents and coaches

  • Try to group children according to their skill level and body size, not by their age, preferably for contact sports
  • Match the child to the sport, and don't push the child too hard to play a sport that may be a hard to your child
  • Choose sports programs that have certified athletic trainers
  • See that all children get a physical exam before playing
  • Don't make the child play when injured and get the child medical attention if needed

For Children

  • Get a physical exam before playing
  • Follow the rules of the game
  • Know how to use athletic equipment
  • Wear appropriate protective gear
  • Avoid playing when you are very tired or in pain
  • Perform warm-ups before and cool downs after you play

Injury Prevention

STOP injury prevention

Other Tips

AOSSM LogoClick on the Sports Medicine topics below to view a printable handout from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

ACL Injury Prevention

Exercise for Bone Health

Exercise for the Mature Athlete

Flexibility and Stretching

Golf Injuries

Helmet Use in Snow Sports

Overuse Injuries

Running and Jogging Injuries

Skiing and Snowboard Injuries

Swimming Warm-up Stretches

Stress Fractures

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