Sports injuries

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
It's easy to get injured while playing sports if you're not in top shape. The most common problems are twisted ankles, knee injuries, sore muscles, pain in the side, blisters, damage to the Achilles tendon in the heel, and shin splints. You can avoid many injuries by warming up and using proper exercise techniques. Warm up by starting exercise at a low intensity. After five to ten minutes, gently stretch the same muscles you'll be using. Never bounce during your stretches; this can strain tendons and pull a muscle. Remember to take deep, regular breaths. Don't over-exert yourself, and cool down after a workout, by slowing your pace for the last five minutes. To protect your knees, exercise on the softest surface possible, and land with your knees bent after a jump. Also, wear well-fitting shoes that offer adequate cushioning and flexibility, as well as thick socks, to prevent blisters. If you do get hurt, stop playing. Minor problems can be treated with rest, ice, a compression bandage, and elevation. If the affected area is numb, can't be moved, is very swollen or painful, or has an unnatural appearance, get medical help. For more information on sports injuries, consult a healthcare provider.

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