According to a recent news report from Global News, there are certain sports that are landing Canadians in the hospital much more than others. These sports including cycling, skiing and snowboarding, animal riding (such as horseback), playground activities, the use of all-terrain vehicles, skateboarding, and more. Just so you have a better idea as to how these sports are having a negative impact on Canadians, here are a few statistics from last year:
• Cycling: 4,268 hospitalizations
• ATVs: 2,834 hospitalizations
• Playgrounds: 2,184 hospitalizations
• Skiing/snowboarding: 1,717 hospitalizations
• Animal riding: 922 hospitalizations
• Skateboarding: 637 hospitalizations
Common injuries from these particular sporting activities include everything from bruises, cuts and scrapes, and open wounds – to more severe injuries such as sprains, fractures, broken bones, concussions, and other head injuries, which can sometimes have a life-long impact, and in some cases can even lead to death.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons why these injuries occur is due to the fact that individuals aren’t taking the necessary precautions to prevent them from happening in the first place. For example: Wearing protective gear. While the type of gear required fully depends on, helmets are the most common type of protective gear that individuals should be wearing – whether it’s when you’re cycling, horseback riding, on an ATV, or playing other sports like hockey, baseball, or football. It’s also good to make sure the helmet you’re wearing fits you properly. If it’s too big, then chances are it will fall off. A helmet should fit snugly but still feel comfortable. To prevent things like bone fractures and breaks, you should also be wearing padded gear – such as wrist pads, elbow pads, and knee pads. Mouthguards are also commonly worn in contact sports (football, hockey, lacrosse) to prevent your teeth from being knocked out or damaged.
If you’re someone who hasn’t played sports or exercised in a while, you’ll want to loosen up your muscles beforehand. This is known as warming up. A warm-up can consist of a light jog, or by doing some stretching. If you already happen to be injured, then the aforementioned physical activities are ones you’ll want to avoid until you are healed. Engaging in physical activity while injured can actually make your injury worse and set you back several weeks or months, and will also make you susceptible to re-injury in the future.
To get your body back to where it needs to be, some things that may help speed up the healing process is by taking over-the-counter medications, such as NSAIDs. Inflammation commonly occurs as a result of injury, and NSAIDs (such as Advil) can actually help reduce that inflammation and relieve pain. In addition, applying ice to the injured area in 10-minute intervals can also help with pain and any swelling that may have developed as a result of your injury. Seeing a physiotherapist can also help in terms of mobility.
While injuries aren’t always 100% preventable, things like helmets and padded gear can significantly reduce the severity of the injury and even save your life.