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Sports injury prevention

• Taping and strapping- applying tape will limit unwanted movement of a joint or offload a specific anatomical structure where a weakness has been identified.

• Core strengthening programme- aims to improve stabilisation and support to the spine which provides a more stable base from which to then work the arm and leg muscles, improving support to the back, co-ordination and movement, endurance and the ability to hold off opponents in contact sports.

• Stretching- is central to preparing for sporting activity and providing the body with the flexibility to take part in the activity without suffering injury.

• Warming up- prior to participating in sporting activity, the body should be prepared for the demands of the activity by working through a warm up programme which will take the body from cold, up to the necessary level of activity, in a gradual and controlled manner. Warming up allows muscles and tendons to become more extensible.

• Start off slow- the tissues of the body, such as tendons, muscles, skin and joints need to adapt to the demands that exercise is putting on them. Starting at a high intensity will overload the tissues and lead to injury. Start your workouts at a low level and gradually build up to allow time for your body to adapt.

• Use the correct equipment- make sure you use required safety equipment and make sure you replace it if it’s no longer fit for purpose. Ensure that any equipment, especially footwear, is the correct size and fits comfortably.

• Respect your environment- if weather conditions are bad, then cancel outdoor activities, as poor conditions can lead to slips, trips, falls and injury.

• Stay hydrated- dehydrated body tissues are much less elastic and don’t absorb the stresses of exercise so well. Remember that tea, coffee and alcohol intake should be minimised as these substances are diuretics that lead to dehydration.