January 13, 2023
All too often, we hear of athletes who have big dreams and aspirations only to have them stripped away by catastrophic injury. It is even sadder still when these injuries are a result of moving in just the wrong way at the wrong time. Many people seem to think that these non-contact injuries are an unpreventable side effect of playing sports but what if in a significant number of cases these injuries were preventable.
In many cases, non-contact injuries stem from the athlete’s training and/or physiology; weaknesses hidden in the body of the athlete can open up opportunities for injuries to occur. Insufficient strength of muscles and connective tissue surrounding points of concern, often joints, has been shown to increase an athlete’s chances of acquiring a major injury. Also, areas of genetic weakness like bone spurs, hyper-mobility, etc. can undermine an otherwise healthy person. Luckily, there are options for correcting these issues.
Mitigation of non-contact injuries, in sports, is often a matter of finding and correcting weakness or imbalance before these issues have a chance to create an injury. It is impossible to guarantee any amount of effort or training will prevent an injury from happening. There is, however, significant research to support physical training as a method for reducing the odds an injury will occur. In cases where weakness and imbalance are the root of the problem, creating balance and increasing strength in these areas can be the solution.
Qualified coaches, who know what they are looking for, should be able to help you detect weaknesses and imbalances before they become a season ending injury. Part of their job is to help you turn those points of weakness into strengths, through specifically directed exercise and your effort. Thus, reducing your chances of being forced to watch your teammates from the sidelines.