Dr Sachin Tapasvi: Appropriate clothing a must in sport & can prevent injuries

This year’s Olympic games are just about five days through and we have seen a large number of ghastly accidents taking place. Take the incident involving French gymnast Samir Ait Said whose men’s vault event ended with him breaking his leg as he landed awkwardly. Surely he had to be carried off the arena with a broken leg that required immediate surgery to put it right. The real action however was happening on the cycling road race with Vicenzio Nibali and Geraint Thomas crashed out in the men’s section and Annemiek van Vlueten crashing out with fractures in the women’s section.

Risk is inevitable with any sport and more high velocity the sport, the more likely are you to be engaged in any serious sports injury. All sports certainly require the correct technique and physical fitness; but they do require the proper protective gear for an uneventful completion. Lack of use of protective sports gear is probably the most neglected aspect that I observe amongst sportsmen in our country. Whether it be cricket or soccer or cycling or basketball or tennis, protection is of utmost importance. Protective gear does not only mean pads and gloves and helmets – but it also encompasses clothing and footwear. Whenever you do sport in a hostile environment, you need to understand that the body temperature is rising and at the same time the body is trying to set right its temperature regulation mechanism with the surroundings. The best way to either dissipate or conserve heat is through appropriate clothes that allow either of these functions.

Clothing is now a science with variation in materials as well pore sizes with in the material. The different fabrics are used for different scenarios for which you may need to play your sport. In India, heat is a major deterrent. Hot and humid climate in most of Western and Central India saps the athlete of water, nutrients and energy. Moisture-wicking fabrics are a blessing in this situation. Normally cotton fabrics will absorb sweat and block the pores of the fabric making the athlete sweat more and lose more. This smart moisture-wicking fabric makes the sweat move to the surface of the fabric, without it gets absorbed – where it can evaporate easily. Thermal tech fabric is another such blessing wherein as the name implies, the fabric reacts to the temperature, keeping the body warm in colder temperatures and helping in conserving heat and energy. A lot of the clothing available now will also have compression inbuilt in certain key areas depending on the type of sport. The runner has increased compression across the thighs and calf to prevent fatigue and numbness. Recent advances also see the presence of ‘Smart Clothes’ around the corner. These have sensors inbuilt into socks and they send off vital information in a real-time scenario for the coach or trainer to look into. People may not realize that socks play a vital part in keeping fit, but they do. If you don’t have the right clothing you could cause injury to yourself or prologue an issue, for example, if you have painful leg problems or inflammation, good compression/therapeutic socks that are available at SockWell USA and other online shops can be extremely helpful and can assist in keeping the area from getting worse.

So friends, do not ignore protective gear when enjoying your sport. Clothing is by far the most ignored aspect of protective gear. When I talk for myself, I usually pull out the first pair of shorts and T-shirts that comes to my hand before I head out for gymming. Don’t you do that! There’s a lot there for us to enjoy our sport.

Dr_Sachin_Tapasvi2Dr Sachin Tapasvi is one of India’s leading joint replacement surgeons. He practises in Pune and has been awarded several fellowships with experience garnered internationally as well as in India.

Dr Sachin Tapasvi

Dr Sachin Tapasvi

Dr Sachin Tapasvi is one of India’s leading joint replacement surgeons. He practises in Pune and has been awarded several fellowships with experience garnered internationally as well as in India. Dr Tapasvi writes every Wednesday on Pune365.
Dr Sachin Tapasvi