Injuries in Professional Athletes
With the Olympics steadily approaching, many of you may be thinking about the good old days of when you were star quarterback or point guard for your college team. As an athlete in high school or college, you likely have a pretty good idea of what it means to train, eat and exercise for the game, and prepare yourself mentally for the challenge. Professional athletes have taken these steps even further.
Professional athletes are paid and/or sponsored to be good at their particular sport and as such, it's their job to avoid injury as well as possible. A major injury for a professional athlete is a very serious threat not only to his or her personal health but to his or her professional career. While athletes will bounce back from many minor injuries, there are some (such as very serious muscle tears) that may have long-lasting effects on an athletes career.
Professional athletes are more at risk for overuse injuries-because, after all, they are exercising every day of every year in an attempt to be the best at their sport. Overuse injuries can be prevented by ensuring that training is consistent. The trick to overuse injuries is giving the injury time to real and recovery before tasking the muscle or joint again. Many amateur athletes find themselves with overuse injuries if they jump into a sport after a long hiatus or amp up a workout too quickly. In professionals, an athlete may try to change up his or her workout in an attempt to beat a personal record or before a big match or tournament. Consistency is key to avoiding overuse injuries in professionals and amateurs alike.
Other common injuries in professional athletes vary by sports and are by in large similar to those injuries sustained by amateur athletes in the same sports. For example, NFL players are more likely to sustain shoulder, knee, and head injuries than are golfers on the PGA Tour. Professional golfers are more likely to sustain back injuries than are professional runners. And runners are more likely to sustain leg and knee injuries than are professional cyclists. Each sport has its own tendencies to put stress and strain on different parts of the body. Professional athletes know this and should train with these weaknesses in mind.