Sports injuries happen to everyone – and we usually recover eventually. But sometimes the risk of reinjury increases, months of hard work is lost to rest, or, worse, you don't ever fully recovery. Your best bet, of course, is to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. We asked three experts – R. Alexander Creighton, chief of sports medicine at the University of North Carolina; Jonathan L. Chang, clinical associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Southern California; and Tim McAdams, team physician for the San Francisco 49ers – to offer the most common career-ending injuries and give us their best advice on how to prevent them.
These strains and tears are common in sports with lots of cutting movement, like soccer. If they aren't aggravated, they usually repair themselves. People generally feel better after two to three weeks of recovery time, but they should wait more like four to six. If they don't, they can end up with lingering pain for many months or even a year.
The Fix: Flexibility will be a big help in avoiding this one, especially as people get older. Basic foam-roller stretches are probably going to give the best results.
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