Preventing Common Sports Injuries: Tips From an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Bryan Tan

Orthopaedic surgeon, MBBS (Singapore), MMed (Ortho), FRCS Ed(Orth)

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Participating in sports can be both thrilling and fulfilling, but many a time, injuries can occur. While some injuries may only cause minor setbacks, others can be more severe and have a lasting impact on your life. That’s why it’s important for both regular and occasional athletes to learn how to safeguard against common sports injuries. This article will provide you with some injury prevention strategies you can incorporate into your routine to help reduce the risk of sports-related ailments.

Warm up properly

Making sure your body is prepped before engaging in any physical activity is crucial and an effective warm-up routine can significantly reduce your risk of injury. Techniques such as jogging, jumping jacks, and active stretching help increase blood flow to your muscles, improve your flexibility, and prepare your body for the demands of exercise. Spending some time warming up can make all the difference in preventing common sports injuries.

Use proper technique

Another effective way to prevent sports injuries is by using the right techniques. Proper sports technique guidance is indispensable when it comes to maintaining proper form during weightlifting, running, or any other sports activity. Correct form not only enhances your performance but also decreases the possibility of overuse injuries and trauma. According to a 2023 study, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioners were found to be most susceptible to knee injuries, which accounted for 61.5% of reported cases. Furthermore, 27% required surgery for a BJJ injury. As a result, focusing on proper techniques can reduce your risk of injury and improve your results during training. In case of severe injuries, it may be necessary to consult with a sports injury doctor or knee pain specialist to explore therapies or medical interventions that can provide relief.

Cross-train and rest

While staying active is paramount to good health, it’s equally important to give your body adequate time to rest and recover. Cross-training is an effective way to prevent overuse injuries by engaging in various activities that target different muscle groups and movements, rather than just one.  Varying your routine not only keeps things more interesting but also reduces strain on specific muscles and joints caused by repetitive movements. Moreover, taking enough rest between workouts allows your body to repair and strengthen, which ultimately reduces the risk of injury and improves overall performance.

A Man Stretching His Legs Before A Gym Workout

Improve flexibility and strengthen muscles

Flexibility and strength are the main components of sports injury prevention. Tips such as regular stretching exercises can help improve flexibility, increase your range of motion, and decrease the risk of muscle strains and tears. Incorporating strength training into your routine is also important, as it helps build strong muscles and stabilises joints, providing additional protection against injuries. Focusing on flexibility and strength can significantly reduce the risk of injuries, whether you’re trying to prevent knee pain or shoulder injuries. If you’re already experiencing knee pain due to overuse or injury, certain stretching exercises like standing leg slides and hamstring stretches can help strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, and buttocks to support your knee joint.

Stay hydrated and fuelled

Nutrition and hydration also play a significant role in helping you stay injury-free and perform at your best. Dehydration can impair muscle function, leading to an increased risk of cramps and fatigue during exercise. So, remember to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after physical activity to keep hydration in check. Additionally, providing your body with the right nutrients can aid in muscle repair and recovery, helping you stay strong and resilient against injuries.

To avoid common sports injuries, it’s important to take a proactive approach and incorporate these tips into your fitness routine. Doing so will allow you to maintain an active lifestyle while minimising the risk of injuries. If you’re experiencing any persistent pain or have concerns about a sports injury, don’t hesitate to seek advice from Dr. Bryan Tan, an orthopaedic sports, shoulder and elbow surgeon in Singapore, for personalised advice and support on your path to injury-free athleticism. 

Schedule a consultation now to start your journey towards a healthier, more active lifestyle.

The first step towards shoulder injury prevention is to simply get started.

Now that you’re aware of the different strategies which can help lower your risk of injury, you should make improving your overall shoulder health a priority. Even small habits such as practising good posture or stretching daily can go a long way.

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Dr. Bryan Tan

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Sports have always played a big part in Dr Bryan’s life. His interest in sports and varied sporting activities give him a deep understanding of sports injuries and the mindset of an athlete.

Dr Bryan Tan is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon, based in Singapore. He completed 2 fellowships in Orthopaedic Sports, Shoulder and Elbow Surgery in Sydney, Australia and Nice, France. Prior to private practice, Dr Bryan was a consultant in the Division of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery in National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore. He is currently still a visiting consultant at NUH where he actively teaches medical students and young orthopaedic surgical trainees. In addition, he travels to regional countries to teach advanced arthroscopic surgical techniques.

  • MBBS(Singapore)
  • MMed (Ortho)
  • FRCS Ed(Orth)

Dr. Bryan has a special interest in keyhole surgery and performs most of his surgeries using advanced, modern keyhole surgical techniques. He regularly visits fellow surgeons from other countries to ensure his skills and knowledge are cutting edge.

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