9 Most Common Sports Injuries – Sports Medicine Weekly | Dr. Brian J. Cole
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Published on: 12-Apr-2021

People play sports for various reasons. For instance, some simply play for the love of competition. Others play to find purpose in life, make friends, or enjoy social recreation and entertainment. Apart from these social benefits, playing sports can significantly improve one’s physical health. It’s a popular way to release stress, lose weight, or improve their general health. The other advantages of playing sports include building muscles and improving respiratory and heart systems.

With all these benefits, it’s undeniable that participating in sporting activities is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. However, people who play sports also expose themselves to certain risks and dangers. Sometimes, you may trip or fall, which results in sports injuries. 

There will always be a possibility of sustaining sports injuries, but that shouldn’t prevent you from reaping the benefits of playing sports. Having enough knowledge about some of the most common sports injuries will allow you to take precautionary measures and reduce the risk of sustaining them. And in the unfortunate event of an injury, there are several health facilities you can visit, including Walker Spine & Sport. The professionals in these facilities are specially trained to help athletes recover.

Let’s now look at nine common sports injuries a physically active person is likely to face:

  • Strains

Strains are the most common sports injuries because we usually use our muscles and tendons when engaged in sports. These parts of the body are forced to stretch farther than they’re supposed to, or move beyond their limits, thus leaving them injured and damaged. Strained quads, pulled hamstrings, and pulled groin muscles are some of the common types of muscle strains. 

Some muscle strains are minor injuries and usually heal naturally after taking a rest. You can avoid or reduce muscle strains by warming up and stretching your body before engaging in vigorous sports activities.

  • Sprains

Sprains affect the tissues of the ligament that connects bones. When these tissues turn in the wrong way, they can tear. Among athletes, ankle, knee, elbow, and wrist sprains are the most common sprains.

Unlike strains, sprains are painful, and they sometimes take much longer to heal. Warming up and stretching your body is also an easy way to reduce the risk of sprains. 

  • Knee Injuries

Your knees are made of complex and delicate joints. They endure a lot of pressure, and thus they end up wearing out when you participate in vigorous sporting activities.

The knee can easily dislocate or fracture. This painful injury often requires surgery to rectify.

  • Fractures

Everybody fears having a broken bone, but sometimes acute and stress fractures happen during sporting activities. 

Stress fractures may happen when you suddenly change your routine sports activity or use the wrong technique or equipment to do a specific sports activity.

Participating in sports more frequently or lack of enough rest can increase the risk of stress fractures. People mostly experience stress fractures in the lower bones of the legs.

Acute fractures, also known as traumatic or complete fractures, happen from a singular injury. These are caused by direct pressure to the bone, causing an injury.

  • Shin Splints

Shin splints are pains experienced at the lower bone of the leg (tibia). It’s an acute pain that feels as if it needs to be massaged or stretched. The injury usually happens to soccer players who do plenty of running.  Players usually experience these pains at the start of the season, especially when they suddenly begin running more than usual.

You can reduce the risk of shin splints by taking a few days off from running or wearing a pair of shoes with good arch support.

  • Back Injuries

Generally, the back and spinal cord will experience stress in almost every kind of sports activity. After several months, this stress might accumulate around the back muscles causing lower or upper back injury and pain.

Treatment of back injuries can vary depending on the level and the condition of the injury. The treatment can range from taking rest to surgery. You can reduce the risk of back injuries by keeping your muscles flexible with warmups and eating a good diet.

  • Concussion

A concussion is a serious brain injury caused by a heavy impact on the skull. Minor concussions can be resolved by resting, but severe concussions can only be rectified by visiting a professional. These severe concussions can last for months or years, so it’s best to receive help from those trained in treating sports-related injuries like physical therapists and doctors.

If you think you’re suffering from concussions, it’s advisable to seek medical attention. You should resume your sporting activities only after you’re advised to do so.

  • Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a type of tendinitis caused by the swelling of tendons. Tendons are the type of tissue that connects the lower arm muscles to the bone. Despite this type of injury bearing the name tennis, you can still get it even without visiting a tennis court.

This injury is caused by any repetitive gripping activity especially when you use your thumb and the first two fingers. Tennis elbow affects people of any age, but mostly people above 40 years. It can also affect individuals whose jobs or daily activities require repetitive arm movements.

  • Turf Toe

Turf toe is a term used to describe a type of sprain that affects the ligament around the joint of the big toe. Though common to soccer players who play on artificial surfaces, it also affects other athletes who participate in basketball, gymnastics, and wrestling. Turf toe is caused by repeatedly pushing or jamming the big toe. 

Some of the common symptoms of this injury include limited joint movement or swelling and pain at the base of the big toe. Turf toe develops slowly and gets worse over time. 

Conclusion

The statistics on sports injuries can be startling for many. However, you can often prevent sports injuries by training properly before participating in any sports exercise. Adequate training may dramatically reduce the risk of injury. If you decide to participate in a new sport, start slowly, exercise caution, and be mindful of your body. Rest assured that you’ll improve gradually while preventing yourself from sustaining an injury.


By: Gary West, a personal trainer who has written several articles about sports medicine, helping fitness enthusiasts. Also, he conducts free training online. Gary loves swimming, martial arts, and playing basketball.

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