Dr Andrew Quoc Dutton
For many professional males, their working lives are so hectic that a regular exercise routine is nigh impossible. Instead, at the end of every work week, they turn into 'weekend warriors', trading in their shirts and ties for football jerseys and basketball shoes.
Weekly sports sessions are a good way for working adults to not just exercise but also to relax and disconnect from the week's stress. However, irregular exercise, varying levels of fitness and improper management of your exercise routine could actually cause more harm than good to your body.
"Ankle sprains and ankle fractures are common in soccer and basketball when a player lands on another player's foot or when the ankle rolls too far outward. Knee problems such as a knee sprain, muscle bruise or a torn knee ligament are also common basketball and soccer injuries," says Dr Andrew Dutton, an orthopaedic surgeon currently practising at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals.
Even without accidents from falls or collisions, injuries caused by repetitive motions are quite common in these sports. For basketball players, a common injury would be shoulder pain from repeated overhead motion such as shooting the hoops. This repeated motion causes stress to a joint called the rotator cuff, which allows the arm to rotate. Similarly, soccer players are susceptible to injure their achilles tendon in the ankle, resulting in a condition called achilles tendonitis.
For those of you who are worried about these injuries, Dr Dutton has helpfully listed out 5 ways that can help prevent these painful conditions.
Proper posture is an important yet oft overlooked precaution. The lack of firm stance with uneven weight distribution raises the risks of sports injuries, and can cause back pain, shoulder pain and knee pain over time.
What we choose to put on our feet can ultimately lead to our well-being. With proper and comfortable footwear, we condition our body to perform at its best without any discomfort. Improper footwear is one of the most common causes of feet, ankle and knee problems.
Many sports often involve repetitive training, and poor technique will make a player susceptible to overuse injuries. Proper technique in terms of shooting, jumping and landing, dribbling will minimise injuries.
With light strength training and cardio exercises, we can build stamina and endurance. This increases the likelihood of improved resistance to injuries. For example, stronger muscles can help reduce the load that the ligaments and tendons suffer from during exercise.
Without proper warming up and cooling down exercises, the body is not conditioned for the intensive activities that follows after. It is a step that is too often overlooked but one that can assist in reducing muscle or tendon tears.
"A serious rotator cuff injury can result in a tear in the rotator cuff tendon. In this case, a minimally invasive arthroscopy can be performed, where the surgical tools are inserted through small cuts in the shoulder and the torn tendon is reattached to the shoulder bone. The same goes for common sports injuries like achilles tendonitis or a knee ligament tear," Dr Dutton adds.