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Sports Injury Prevention Guide

Warm up/Cool Down Stretch Guide


Sports Injury Prevention Guide

Ankle Sprain

Symptoms -            Pain, swelling, loss of motion, pain during walking resulting from landing on outside of foot and stretching ligaments.


Prevention -            Crutches, cane, walking within pain tolerance.  Periodically move ankle up and down to prevent stiffness and blood clotting. 


Treatment -            Ice 20 min on, 20 min off, 3x/day until swelling subsides.  Apply ace bandage from toes to upper calf, leaving no openings.  Elevation - lie flat with foot on a pillow about 18" off the ground. If pain persists for 3 days call a doctor.


Heel Bruise

Symptoms -            Pain and swelling from a direct blow or repetitive training involving, pressure or trauma to the heel.


Prevention -            Proper footwear with protective padding.


Treatment -            Ice 20 min on, 20 min off, 3x/day until swelling subsides.  Avoid using pad directly on affected area – leave opening over sore spot.  If pain persists for 3 days, call a doctor.


Muscle Cramp (leg)

Symptoms -            Immediate tightness and spasm in muscle, pain due to fluid imbalance, improper conditioning.


Prevention -            Proper diet (salt, apples, bananas, oranges), gradual conditioning to increase flexibility.


Treatment -            Stretch the involved area immediately, massage area of muscle where spasm is occurring.


Jammed Toe

Symptoms -            Pain, swelling, loss of motion, resulting from jamming toe into surface, tight shoes or from kicking an object.


Prevention -            Proper footwear, walking carefully.


Treatment -            Place toe in cold water (55 degrees) 3xday for 20 minutes.  Move toe up and down within pain tolerance.  Wrap toe in gauze.


Tennis Elbow

Symptoms -            Pain on outside of elbow during gripping movement.  Swelling due to improper swinging motion, over-use.


Prevention -            Strengthen wrist by holding weight and moving hand up and down 20 times, 3x/day.


Treatment -            Ice 20 min on, 20 min off, before and after activity stretch hand in all motion, re-adjust stroke to eliminate those which produce pain.



Nose Bleed

Symptoms -            Bleeding from one or both nostrils resulting from a direct blow or over-exertion.


Prevention -            Avoid contact or over-exertion.


Treatment -            Do not lay down or place neck backwards, clamp nostrils together or place gauze in bleeding nostrils.  Stand up straight, apply ice.


Heart Exhaustion

Symptoms -            Extreme weakness, pale, cool, clammy skin, weak rapid pulse, nausea, excessive water and nutrient loss.


Prevention -            Proper conditioning if hot/humid.


Treatment -            Lay patient flat with feet elevated, drink juices or salted water.  If body is hot, cool down with cold compress.  Have patient relax.  If body cool, cover with blanket.


Ingrown Toenail

Symptoms -            Pain, swelling, redness at junction of nail and skin due to trauma, improper footwear, improper nail care, heredity


Prevention -            Cut nail straight across.  Do not cut edge, wear proper fitting shoes.


Treatment -            Warm soaks, wear 2 pair of socks, soft shoes.  Cut “V” in center of nail, apply anti-bacterial ointment, keep clean.  If pain persists, call doctor.


Charlie Horse

Symptoms -            Pain, swelling, loss of motion resulting from a direct blow or over-use of muscles.


Prevention -            Proper conditioning, flexibility, protective padding if engaging in contact sport.


Treatment -            Ice 20 min on, 20 min off, 3x/day.  Do not apply heat.  Stretch slowly until soreness (don’t bounce) while icing.  Apply ace bandage above, over and below area, leaving no openings for swelling to pool.  Exercise within pain tolerance, through dull ache.  Do not exercise through sharp pain.


Shin Splints

Symptoms -            Pain on middle, inside or outside of lower leg due to heavy running, improper footwear, running on hard surface and poor flexibility.


Prevention -            Good footwear, gradual condition flexibility.  Exercise by walking on heel of foot, outside of foot, inside of foot.


Treatment -            Apply ice on painful area before and after activity.  Pain on (A inside of leg: Strengthen muscles that turn foot in by walking around on outside of foot.  Place arches in both shoes.  B) outside of leg: Run less until pain subsides.  If pain persists, get x-ray 10-14 days after symptoms begin.  C) front of leg: Do calf stretches, get soft heel for shoe.



Achilles Tendonitis

Symptoms -            Pain on heel cord, calf, or back of heel, soreness during running or jumping when pushing off due to over-exertion, improper stretching, hard shoe or sneaker heel, sudden twist.


Prevention -            Proper stretching before and after exercise, padded heel in shoe, gradual conditioning to activity.  Use padded heel cup.


Treatment -            Apply ice 20 min on, 20 min off, 3x/day.  Take aspirin, if OK with doctor 4x/day for 7 days.  Gradually stretch tendon (lean against wall, keeping heel flat on ground).  This will stretch the upper calf.


Pulled Muscle

Symptoms -            Pain, tightness in belly of muscle, swelling, occasional loss of motion if severe, resulting from improper stretching, extreme muscular fatigue, salt and potassium imbalance, sudden twist motion.


Prevention -            Conditioning prior to exertion.


Treatment -            Ice 20 min on, 20 min off, 3x/day


Runner’s Cramp

Symptoms -            Pain and cramping in side of stomach with pain increasing if you continue to run, due to loss of fluid (salt and potassium), while running in hot climate or to over-exertion.


Prevention -            Add salt to food, eat bananas, apples or oranges 12 hours before activity.  Eat carbohydrates 1 day prior to activity, avoid eating 2.5 hours before exercise.  No sweets or sugar.  Gradual conditioning for activity.


Treatment -            Apply pressure with hand, directly on the area of pain.  Then slowly stretch out the cramped area.


Heat Stroke

Symptoms -            Dry (no sweating), red skin, temperature elevation, strong, rapid pulse.


Prevention -            Gradual conditioning.  No heavy exertion in hot, humid (over 90%) weather.


Treatment -            True emergency, life threatening.  CALL AMBULANCE IMMEDIATELY.  Cool entire body, place cold compacts on pressure points, armpits, groin, temple.


Athlete’s Foot

Symptoms -            Itching and redness between toes or on sole of foot.  Scaly dry skin caused by a superficial fungus infection, soil in locker rooms, excessive sweating, dirty socks.  Highly contagious.


Prevention -            Two pairs of socks, washed daily.  Thongs or foot covering in shower or locker room and other public places.  Powder feet daily.


Treatment -            Wash feet 3x/day thoroughly, especially between the toes.  Apply anti-fungal ointment or spray.  Expose feet to air.  Wash socks daily and powder oval fungal spray during activity.


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Warm up/Cool Down Stretches

Perform these stretches before and after sports activities to increase your flexibility, reduce muscle tension and soreness and significant lower your chances of injury.  Stretch until you feel mild tension – not pain, and hold for 10 seconds.  Tense feeling should decrease or stay the same.  Do not bounce.  Stretch should be static.  To get blood going, job about ¼ mile before beginning your warm up.



Groin -                   Sitting with soles of feet together, grasp ankles and pull toward groin area.  Place hands on inside and push knees out and down toward floor until you feel a stretch.  Hold 10 seconds, relax and repeat 5 times.



Quadriceps -          While standing, bend knee and grasp ankle.  Pull ankle toward buttocks until you feel a stretch.  Hold ten seconds, relax and repeat 5 times.  Alternate legs.



Hamstring -            Sit with one leg straight, other leg bent with heel against upper part of inner thigh.  Lean over straight leg and grasp lower leg, pulling chin to knee.  Keep knee straight.  Hold 10 seconds, relax and repeat 5 times.  Alternate legs.



Calf -                     Stand facing a wall.  Using hands for balance, lower hips by bending knees toward ground and wall until you feel a stretch in lower calf.  Do not allow heels to come off the floor.  Hold 10 seconds, relax and repeat 5 times.



Lower Back -         Lie on back, knees bent.  Raise one knee to chest, grasp with hands and pull in to chest.  Hold until stretch is flat.  Relax and repeat 55 times.  Repeat with opposite leg, then both legs together.


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