Many injuries in sport are easily preventable. It's one of ACC's major goals to reduce the number and severity of injuries and keep New Zealanders playing. The goal of injury prevention is to reduce the incidence of injuries, their severity and costs and to develop a ‘safety culture’ among all New Zealanders
ACC Sports Smart
ACC has a 10 point plan for injury prevention called Sport Smart.
SportSmart - 10-point plan
Sports injuries are not caused by one single factor. Often sports injuries are the result of a number of conditions and circumstances. ACC SportSmart is a 10-point action plan for sports injury prevention.
Use screening to identify players at risk of injury and identify factors that may make players prone to injury.
Warm-up, cool-down and stretch
Warm-up correctly to prepare your body for play, and cool-down and stretch the right way to help the body recover and to prevent injury.
Being prepared physically can help prevent injuries and improve your performance.
Identify the risky elements in your sport and ensure players learn and use the correct techniques at all times, to help prevent injury.
Uphold the principles of fair play to reduce the risk of injury. This is the responsibility of everyone, ie coaches, players, referees and supporters.
Buy the correct sporting equipment to help protect you and others from injury.
Hydration and nutrition
Understand how hydration and nutrition affect your body and make better choices before, during and after exercise.
Find out how to collect and analyse injury information, to find ways of preventing the same injuries happening again.
Ensure that sporting facilities and equipment are safe, and players have the correct gear.
Correct identification, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries will help players return to training and competition sooner.
ACC Smart Tips
ACC have come up with some sport-specific tips to prevent injury for over 30 sports. Visit the ACC website for further details and to find your sports tips for preventing injuries.
Visit FIFA 11+ (external link) to get the most out of your football season.
FIFA 11+is a complete warm-up programme to reduce injuries among male and female football players aged 14 years and older. The programme was developed by an international group of experts, and its effectiveness has been proven in a scientific study. Teams that performed the FIFA 11+ exercises at least twice a week had 30-50% fewer injured players.
Common Sports Injuries
It is also good to know the most common injuries that occur in sports and how to deal with them. The majority of sports injuries are to the head, shoulders, hamstrings, knees, ankles and tendons. Sports injuries need to be carefully managed to reduce the risk of re-injury. The ACC website Common Injuries section talks of the five common injuries and how to manage these.
The R.I.C.E.D. method of injury treatment can relieve pain, limit swelling and protect the injured tissue, all of which help to speed healing.
- Rest reduces further damage - stop activity as soon as the injury occurs
- Avoid as much movement of the injured part as possible to limit further injury
- Don't put any weight on the injured part of the body.
- Ice cools the tissue and reduces pain, swelling and bleeding
- Place ice wrapped in a damp towel onto the injured area - don't put ice directly onto bare skin
- Hold the ice pack firmly in place with a bandage
- Keep ice on the injury for 20 minutes every two hours for the first 48 hours.
- Firm bandaging helps to reduce bleeding and swelling
- Ensure that bandaging is not so tight that it cuts off circulation or causes tingling or pain past the bandage
- Bandage the injury between ice treatments.
- Elevation helps to stop bleeding and reduce swelling
- Raise the injured area on a pillow for comfort and support
- Keep the injured area raised as much as possible.
- Consult a medical professional, eg a doctor or physiotherapist especially if you are worried about the injury, or if the pain or swelling gets worse
- If the pain or swelling has not gone down significantly within 48 hours, also seek treatment
- An accurate diagnosis is essential for proper rehabilitation of moderate to severe injuries.