Easy Ways to Prevent Injury
High school athletes often deal with growth, skeletal and hormonal challenges as they train. These changes can lead to overuse injuries, specifically in the lower back and ankles. That’s why Caitlin Wong, MAT, ATC, and LAT Certified Athletic Trainer at Franklin Central High School, recommends an injury prevention strategy for students—and injury prevention is a good idea for athletes at any stage of life.
The best ways to prevent injury
“First you have to get the body ready to exercise,” says Wong, a member of the Community Sports Medicine team. Start with stretching and a warm up, such as walking or biking. “Then, you can increase the intensity of your workout step by step.”
Here are other tips to keep in mind during training:
- Use proper mechanics—practicing the proper mechanics can prevent muscle strains and pulls.
- Stay alert—be aware of your surroundings because many injuries are due to contact with other players.
- Cool down—slowly decrease the intensity of your activity and then stretch again.
Being mindful of your movements and surroundings can help prevent pain and injury.
Stretch at the start and end of a workout
Don’t skip stretching. Your muscles need to warm up and cool down both at the start and the end of your workout. In addition to injury prevention, stretching also improves posture, mechanics, flexibility and agility.
“I find working with the students enjoyable,” says Wong. “But building relationships with the school is also a lot of fun. In the end, coaches are teachers too, and we’re all looking out for what is best for the students.”
Community Health Network provides athletic trainers at many Central Indiana schools. Learn more about our certified athletic trainers.