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When it comes to playing sports, we understand the main thing you want to do is just that—play. 

However, sometimes the way you choose to play and participate in activities isn’t always the best choice, leading you closer and closer to a sports injury. 

Here are seven bad habits that we see in people that can lead to a sports injury down the road.

1. Not Stretching

Although it may require you an extra 10 minutes before you start your activity to get a good stretch in, you should be doing it. No matter how strenuous your sport is going to be, you always should stretch before and after your activity. 

Stretching allows your muscles and joints to warm up before you do your actual warm-up. It allows blood to move more freely throughout the body and gets your heart rate up slightly, which makes it easier to transition into a warm-up. 

An easy way to make sure you stretch enough is to allow at least five minutes before your warm-up to do some light stretches and movements. 

2. Skipping a Warm-Up or Cool-Down

Just like stretching only takes a few minutes, so does doing a warm-up or cool-down—and it can make a huge difference in your performance. 

The point of a warm-up is to get your heart rate up, your blood pumping, and your muscles and joints ready for action. It’s the mid-level between stretching and your sport. A cool-down is the same thing except done after you complete your activity. 

Without doing these, you increase your chances of sports injury because you don’t allow your body to prepare for the full-force activity, and then you don’t allow it to relax correctly after such activity. 

3. Ignoring Pain

Although sometimes it may seem easier to ignore the pain and play through it, doing so can seriously jeopardize your chance of ever playing the sport you love again. 

Pain is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. By ignoring that, you play through what could be a serious injury. For example, if you twist your ankle and keep playing through it, you can cause serious muscle and bone damage or make the fracture 10 times worse than it was when it happened.  

4. Wearing Incorrect Equipment

No matter what sport you play, there’s always equipment to go along with it. You need to make sure you have all the right gear to play your sport whether that be supportive cleats, shin guards or a face mask. 

By not wearing the correct equipment, especially equipment that’s not the right size or not supportive enough, you play a dangerous game with getting injured. 

Take, for example, footwear. If you’re wearing cleats or tennis shoes that aren’t supportive, not only are you messing with your foot and ankle, you’re also messing with your legs and spine. 

Your body is a system that works together and needs to be protected and supported together. 

5. Not Eating Well

Although it sounds cliché, not eating right can set your body up for failure before you even get into your sport. The food you eat throughout the day fuels your body. 

If you’re not eating the correct foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and meats high in protein, then your body doesn’t get enough energy to make fast and concise movements. This easily can lead to slow mobility and a higher chance of sports injury. 

Here to Help You Through Any Sports Injury

If a sports injury does pop up in your future, contact the expert professionals at South Orange Rehabilitation and Wellness. We treat every client like family and work with them to heal whatever sports injury they have. 

Our extensive services include physical therapy, neurological rehabilitation, vertigo stabilization and much more. Take your healing process into your hands by reaching out to us on our website today.