How to Prevent Sports Injuries

woman lacing sneakersSports injuries can happen at any time, to any athlete, but there are steps you can take to prevent sports injuries during practice and on game day.

Warm Up and Cool Down – It is essential to warm your muscles up slowly before beginning any activity. A short jog or some jumping jacks before stretching and before hitting the court keeps muscles flexible. They will be better able to meet the demands of your sport. Likewise, cooling down after an activity helps you maintain flexibility. Stopping an activity suddenly can lead to stiff muscles that are more prone to injury.

Stretching – Stretching before and after playing a sport helps keep your muscles flexible. Jumping into an activity cold leaves you prone to injuries.

Flexibility – We’ve mentioned that warm-ups and stretching are essential for keeping you flexible, but there are other activities you can do. Simply going to a yoga class when you’re taking a rest day can help your body tremendously.

Rest Days – Don’t push yourself too hard. Take rest days at least one or twice a week to let your body recover. Working out nonstop can put you at risk for overuse injuries.

Listen to Your Body – If you are in pain, or not feeling well, do not play sports. Your body is telling you that something is wrong, and failing to listen to those signals can cause serious harm. Always listen to your body and let it rest when it needs to.

Middletown Imaging has multiple diagnostic tests that we can use to diagnose a sports injury, including digital X-Ray imaging. Make an appointment with our radiologists today by calling 732-275-0999 or booking online.

Examining the Ligaments of the Knee

kneeYour knee joint is the largest joint in your body, located at the conjunction of the femur and the tibia. The muscles surrounding the knee are responsible for its movement, while the ligaments are responsible for keeping the joint stable and adding strength. The four ligaments in your knee that connect the leg bones are:

ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) – This ligament is located in front of the knee joint. Its responsibility is to prevent your shin bone from sliding too far forward during activities like running and jumping. ACL tears are a common injury in sports, especially basketball.

PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) – The PCL sits opposite the ACL, behind the knee joint. This ligament prevents the shinbone from moving too far backward.

MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) – The Medial Collateral Ligament resides on the inside of your knee joint, preventing the knee from bending inward. This ligament is very thick, and rarely requires surgery when it tears.

LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) – The PCL is on the outside of your joint, opposite the MCL. This ligament prevents your knee from bending outward.

Knee Ligament Injuries – When you experience trauma to your knee, the ligaments can tear. You may feel a popping sensation and instability when standing. Loss of range of motion, pain, and swelling, are also common in ligament tears.

An open MRI machine like the one at Middletown Imaging can be used to diagnose ligament tears in your knee. Make an appointment today at 732-275-0999 or book online.