Prevention of sports injuries

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Prevention of injuries

The prevention of sports injuries focus on a “pre-emptive” management of risk factors for injury and their elimination or control, if that is possible.

Prevention of injury occurs at 3 levels:
• Primary prevention – measures to avoid or lessen the risk of injury
• Secondary prevention – treatment of injury so permanent damage does not occur
• Tertiary prevention – after injury rehabilitation, measures are taken so the injury does not recur

Factors for primary injury prevention :
warm-up (prepares body for exercise)
stretching (to ensure joints can move easily through the full range of motion associated with the sport being participated in)
strapping and braces (used to restrict undesirable motions and allow desired motions)
appropriate and protective equipment (helmets, mouthguards, footwear) – may be mandated in some sports
correct biomechanics (use of foot orthoses, if indicated)
surfaces used for activity
appropriate training methods
adequate recovery after hard training sessions or competition
psychological factors

While stretching is widely used as a preventative strategy, a randomised controlled trial has shown that a typically used pre-exercise stretching routine did not result in less injuries in a group of army recruits .

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