As an athlete, you know that injuries happen, but many injuries can be preceded by following five simple tips.

Stretch Well and Often
Stretching should be a part of every workout or training session. Pulled muscles are a very common sports injury, yet most sprains and folded muscles can be preceded simply by stretching before and after every workout. Stretching once muscles are warmed up will also help keep things supple.

Sports Massage
A regular massage is relaxing and can relieve stress, but sports massage is specifically designed for athletes. With the right movements and pressure, injuries both new and old will be encouraged to heal. The pressure on the body improves circulation, which prompts healing. This type of massage is also useful in promoting flexibility through the body, which will help the athlete from hurting himself.

A good sports massage therapist will also be able to relieve pain caused by common injuries, making this a valid choice for those looking for relief.

Chiropractic Realignments
Many sports, particularly contact sports, can wreak havoc on your body's alignment. A good chiropractor can help increase flexibility and range of movement, which will reduce the risk of injury and help improve your game. In addition, realignments improve posture, which is good for many reasons, including avoiding back pain.

Take It Easy
Many athletes push their bodies beyond their natural limits. While building up to better performance is feasible and encouraged, take care not to overdo things. You could end up injuring yourself. Regular breaks during your training routine will allow your body to recover appropriately, but if you feel any kind of pain, it is best to stop and rest. In some cases, you may need to relax for a few days to allow your body to recover. If this is difficult for you, just remember that an injured athlete is not very useful and an injury could take weeks or even months to heal, where a couple of days rest can fix things if you have merely pushed yourself a little too hard.

Use the Right Equipment
While not all sports related injuries are preventable, you can eliminate the cause of quite a few by simply using the correct equipment. Shoes that do not fit properly or are inadequate for the task at hand can cause sprains or other pains that could set you back weeks in your training.

Safety equipment is also very important. Just one fall without a helmet during football practice could cause a long lasting head injury, so protect yourself.

Sports are fun and a great way to exercise, but to ensure you stay healthy and safe, make sure you follow these tips. Use the right equipment, stretch and take it easy and be sure to get treated for your injuries, either by a massage therapist or chiropractor.