Health and Wellness
Strains and Sprains
Be prepared to prevent injury!
BE PREPARED is made up of five simple yet beneficial multijoint movements. (Photos by author.)
Improve your safety and increase your performance. Incorporate this as your warmup for your training or workout.
You are at an incredible increased risk of injury. You are 14. 5 times more likely to get hurt than your nonfirefighting friends and family. You
operate in complicated, chaotic, and uncontrolled
environments where anything can happen. These
conditions contribute to injuries; however, firefighter
and paramedic injuries are not led by thermal burns,
smoke explosions, or building collapse. Rather, they
are led by the overlengthening and overexertion
of ligaments and tendons that result in strains and
Strains and sprains are caused by the way you move
and perform your functions during an emergency
and, more specifically, because of inflexibility. This
statistic caused by inflexibility is truly a tragedy but
thankfully one that you can improve on through
training to BE PREPARED!
TRAINING FOR PREVENTION
Your profession is about preparing for the unexpected. This is why you train for a variety of situations that may arise given time. Hazmat, bariatric
patient movement, and mass-casualty incidents are
just a few of the things you train to be prepared for at
any given time. This level of readiness makes you the
professional you are and equips you with lifesaving
knowledge, skills, and abilities. Preparation is essential for your profession.
Similarly, you can train to BE PREPARED to
prevent injury from strains and sprains. By training
to BE PREPARED, you are developing your ability
to be ready for a variety of complex movements that
you may have to perform at any given time. Bending,
twisting, reaching, pulling, and pushing are just a few
of the functions you need to BE PREPARED for at
any given time. By training to BE PREPARED for
these types of movements, you will be preventing the
risk of strains and sprains by the following:
• Losing unwanted weight.
• Enhancing your range of motion.
• Increasing your relative flexibility.
While each is an incredible benefit, increasing your
relative flexibility deserves some addition notation
because it is quickly increased and provides long-term sustainable impact. You have flexibility, the
ability to extend or retract a muscle, that is inherent
to you. Without being warmed up and going from
0 to 60 miles per hour (mph) at a moment’s notice,