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.
Rotator cuff tear
About 50 percent of people over the age of 65 have some kind of rotator cuff tearing, and it's seen by many experts as a natural part of aging. Painful tears can sometimes be addressed with physical therapy, but if surgery is required, it is an operation with a fairly high success rate.
The Fix: Working on the muscles around the shoulder is just as important as working on the muscles around the rotator cuff to prevent rotator cuff tears. Try cable-strengthening exercises, like rows.
Credit: Pali Rao / Getty Images