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Using Stretches To Avoid Sports Injuries: Part 1

Many people — both athletes and non-athletes — feel as though most sports injuries are unavoidable. In fact, more than 1.5 billion people live with chronic pain, many times related to a sports injury. Here is some basic information about adding stretches to your routine that may help you avoid a potential sports injury.

Warming Up:
The number one reason people stretch before working out or doing something strenuous is to keep the body flexible. But before you can stretch properly, you have to get your muscles working by doing a few minutes of light exercising. This can be anything from jogging in place to jumping jacks — anything that’s enjoyable to you and not too strenuous. Warming up helps improve blood flow to the muscles and gets your body ready for the workout it’s about to endure. Warmup exercises also make your tendons more limber, which reduces the chance of injury.

Cooling Down:
Just as you took a few minutes to prepare your body for its workout before exercising, it’s important to assist it in returning to its rested and relaxed state when the workout is over. Physical therapy professionals recommend designating 10 minutes after each workout to various cool down exercises and more stretching. This also helps to ensure a lower level of soreness during the next workout. When you do your cool down stretches, try to focus on the areas you feel were most exerted during the workout to maximize your chances at avoiding a sports injury.

Other Prevention Methods:
Even if you consistently prioritize warmup and cool down exercises before and after each workout, there’s still a passing chance you could develop a sports injury. The best prevention practice is to avoid playing year round sports. If muscles and joints are not given adequate time to rest, they’re likely to get injured.

Ultimately, it’s important to take care of your body by allowing it warmup time, cool down time, and rest time in between seasons. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll discuss specific stretches that can assist with pain treatment. For more information about acupuncture and foot health, contact Platinum Health Center.

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