Sports Injuries Raise Cost of Active Life
Is Injury the Price of a Healthy Lifestyle
Sports Injuries Hurt Adults, Too continued...
But one-fourth of the sports-related injuries occurred among
adults 25-44 years old, an age group commonly overlooked by most injury
prevention efforts, says Gilchrist. The type of sport or recreational activity
responsible for the highest number of injuries also varied by age, and the top
five injury-causing activities among the three age groups studied were:
5-14 years -- Pedal cycling, basketball, football, playground
15-24 years -- Basketball, football, exercising, soccer,
Over 25 years -- Recreational sports, exercising, basketball, pedal
Recreational sports include racquet sports such as tennis and
badminton, as well as golf, fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain climbing, and
other non-team leisure sports.
Taking the Aches and Pains out of Physical Activity
To reduce the risk of sports-related injuries while still
reaping the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle, Gilchrist says it's
important for adults to pick a recreational activity or sport that's
appropriate for their physical capabilities, age, competition level, and
But sports injury specialist Jon Schriner, DO, says many adult
athletes seem to be stuck in a 16-year-old mindset, which can put them at
"They play like they are 16, but excuse me, you're 30, 40,
50, etc." says Schriner, who is medical director of the Michigan Center for
Athletic Medicine in Flint, Mich. "So they play with the same vigor
forever, and you can't tell an active person to back off."
He says the big issue between the recreational adult athlete
and younger athletes who play in supervised sports is in the level of
preparticipation preparation and supervision they receive. Before student
athletes step on the playing field under the coach's supervision, they usually
receive aerobic conditioning, strength training, and flexibility training.
"So the adult athlete doesn't have the flexibility they had
when they were younger, they don't have the strength training, and their
aerobic capacity is at a couch potato level," Schriner tells WebMD.
"The adult athlete only remembers what the coach told him in high school,
and he's unsupervised, so he goes out willy-nilly."
Schriner recommends the following steps to reduce the risk of
- Before starting a new physical activity, prepare yourself with some
aerobic, strength, and flexibility training.
- Invest in a good pair of athletic shoes designed to provide the right kind
of support for the particular activity or sport.
- Find out what safety equipment is available for the activity, and use
- Get some coaching. Check out books and magazines that provide training tips
and instruction, or consult a professional sports trainer or coach for a
Gilchrist says various federal agencies, including the CDC,
also have guidelines on how to get started with a new physical activity or
sport. But she says many sports injuries among adults could be prevented if
parents simply followed the same safety rules as their children, such as
wearing a helmet while bicycling.