Studies have shown that sport has a beneficial effect on cartilage, and this applies even to intense sports. Sports can help to maintain healthy cartilage because it does not have its own blood supply and receives nutrients from the joint fluid that surrounds it. Physical activity drives the joints, bringing nutrients rich fluid to the cartilage.
However, the fact is that when practicing certain sports there is a high risk of joint injuries. Very often, these are recurrent injuries that can wear out your joints or cause permanent damage over time.
The conclusion is that as long as you take care of your joints and try to reduce your risk of injury intensive sports activities are acceptable. For example, if you run regularly, do not save on high-quality, shock-absorbing footwear, and of course make sure your joints are well-nourished.
SPORTS AT HIGH RISK OF CAUSING JOINT INJURY
Football – ankle sprains and knee tendon injuries are most common for all football players. But these injuries are not as harmless as they seem. An ankle sprain means your ligaments are streched or torn from a sudden and intense ankle sprain. When the ligaments are stretched, they may never return to their original shape. This means that your ankle is now less stable, which will increase your risk of recurrent sprains in the future. Also, sprains not only affect the ankle. They can lead to chronic stiffness, which has a significant effect on the rest of the body, such as walking becomes difficult, and the leg and pelvic muscles lose efficiency and strength. This can cause lower back and hip pain. As for knee tendon injuries, usually it will heal by time. However, repeated injuries to the knee tendon mean that more scar tissue will be formed that will prevent healthy muscle functioning, in the long run. When playing football, make sure you wear adequate footwear, take enough vitamins and minerals, and in the case of injury, rest and properly repair it.
Jumping sports – it is important to protect your knees as they are under the most pressure. Basketball, for example, is a good exercise that has a positive effect on the heart and lungs. The downside is the high rate of injuries due to sudden stops, starts, twists and turns, when the knees and back are most at risk. Then, all the heavy and repetitive exercises involving weight lifting can cause rotator cuff injuries (a group of 4 muscles around the shoulder joint). When such an injury occurs, physiotherapy is often required in combination with rest. Failure to repair the injury in time can lead to movement restrictions. Squats and jumps involve repetitive movements that can cause injury to the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon can even rupture, a condition that requires longer rest and even surgery.
Running – Invest in a good pair of running shoes and learn how to run smart, slowly lifting your endurance. You can enroll in one of the increasingly popular running schools or get started using the beginner app. Over time, there is a risk of stress fractures (also called fractional cracks; tiny cracks usually occur in the tibia that develop over time) leading to shin splints or shin pain. If this happens to you, you should definitely visit a physiotherapist. For small cracks, it is necessary to refrain from the activity for at least four weeks to help fractures to heal. When doing any sport, one should work to strengthen the muscles, because stronger muscles mean stronger bones. When going back to running training after an injury, it is necessary to reduce the length of running by 10 %, because according to research, this reduces the risk of future fractures by 30 % Several studies have shown that people who complained about knee pain during running have had previous injuries due to inadequate joint care.
Long walks on rough terrain – If you regularly go for long walks (10 kilometers or more) on rough terrain, then you can expect knee problems as a result of impacts and small turns. As prevention, it’s a good idea to invest in quality shoes and sticks and learn to use them properly.
Skiing – It’s important to protect the knees since injuries can have long term consequences.
Squash – In this sport, there is often a cruciate ligament injury that is important for knee stability. Squash players also tend to get patellofemoral syndrome (pain in the knee or around the knee). If you have weak muscles, you are at greater risk of injury. To reduce your risk of injury – consider yoga for flexibility and weight lifting to build muscle.
Cycling – is an incredible exercise because it is also an aerobic activity, and is also effective for power. But it has one of the highest injury rates. It doesn’t do much to the flexibility or upper body strength.
Dancing – Although it seems like a very graceful activity, injuries are common, with cramps and joint dislocations being the most common. Among the dancers the most vulnerable are ballet artists, who generally deform their toes. In more serious cases, it can result in pain, discomfort, and difficulty during long walking. Cramps usually indicate muscle overload. When this happens, you may find that your movement is restricted and that you feel pain. If you do not give enough time for the recovery of the tendons, muscles they can become tense. Dislocation of the knees, elbows and shoulders is also not uncommon for dancers. Once a wrist dislocation occurs, that part becomes more susceptible to the same injury in the future. In dance, as well as in any other physical activity, one should gradually increase the limits of your body, rest enought and eat healthy, and relax tired muscles by applying natural creams with soothing, nourishing and healing ingredients.
Yoga – Although considered an activity that brings healing, the improper or excessive practice of certain yoga positions can actually do more harm than good. For example, the dog’s downward pose, which is almost inevitable in most yoga practices, puts pressure on the wrist at a slightly clumsy angle. If this pose is repeated over a long period, it could cause stress on the wrists and in the end causing repetitive stress injuries. People who have had such an injury in the past should avoid the load of the joints as further aggravation of the injury could result in degeneration. The stance and position of the plow create great pressure on the spine, potentially causing shoulder or neck injuries. Holding a position for longer or if the technique is poor can cause serious problems with the spine or disc of the spine. Initially, yoga should be performed under the supervision of a certified teacher and it is essential to respect the boundaries of your body.
When you read about the possible injury, you start wondering whether to start with physical activity. Of course the answer is yes because of the enormous benefits it has to your overall health. Most of these injuries occur as a result of improper technique or excessive training. If an injury occurs, it is necessary to start treatment immediately. Whether it is just resting or additional therapies.
Everyone involved in sports should look after themselves and, in consultation with an orthopedist or physical therapist, take care of their health. It is also very important to take in sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, perform self-massages with adequate creams and use quality training equipment. If you have already had some serious injuries or have other problems, you may want to consider sports where injuries are not as common.
SPORTS THAT ARE LESS RISKY FOR INJURIES:
- Walking on flat terrain – generally has less impact on your knees than walking on rough terrain while walking on grass is even better.
- Cycling in the gym – is good aerobic exercise even for your wrists because of the lower risk of falls that can cause injuries. But this kind of recreation doesn’t do much for flexibility or upper body strength, so some additional activities need to be introduced.
- Rowing machine – a good activity with minimal risk of injury.
- Swimming – another great activity.