Top 10 Most Common Sports Injuries
Participating in sports is an excellent way to keep yourself healthy and live an active lifestyle. Sports are good for your heart, respiration, building muscular strength, and keeping you fit. Although there are some ways sports can go wrong and hurt you.
The risk of sports injury should definitely not stop you from playing, instead by being careful and aware of the injuries you can minimize the risk.
Here are the top 10 most common sports injuries that can be prevented with appropriate measures.
1. ACL Injury
The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is a tissue that is mostly responsible for your knee’s stabilization. ACL connects the thighbone to the shinbone. Sudden changes in movement or direction can strain the ligament. If the impact is severe then you may tear the ligament.
ACL injuries mostly occur while playing certain sports such as basketball, football, tennis, and skiing. The injury can take up to months to heal and may require surgery as well as rehabilitation.
The physiotherapy suggests proper warm-up, stretching exercises, and a good posture to avoid possible injuries. Essential padding and bracing should also be used when playing sports.
A concussion is a brain injury caused by a sudden impact on the head, affecting the brain activity and damaging it. It’s a pretty common injury in sports. Concussions can be mild to severe depending on your case. The symptoms can be dizziness, sleepiness, temporary loss of memory, etc. Wear protective headgear to avoid chances of sustaining a head injury. Visit a specialist when you get injured. Although the concussion goes away after a week or so.
Sprains are the most common sports injuries. Ligaments are tissues that connect bone to bone. Basically, it is a stretch or tear of ligaments near a joint. An ankle sprain is one such sprain that athletes often experience, along with knee sprains, elbow sprains, and wrist sprains.
Pain, swelling, and bruising are symptoms of a sprain. Sometimes to heal the injury properly you’ll be required to immobilize to avoid any further injuries.
Sprain makes ligaments weak and likely to sustain future sprains. If you’re always prone to sprains then using a brace to support yourself while playing is recommended.
Fractures are caused by high impact and contact sports. Fractures can be excruciatingly painful, mostly in the arms, legs, and feet. Fractures take weeks to heal and all that time you’re immobilized. In various cases, surgery is required to correct the deformity.
If you play strenuous sports then you are highly exposed to the fracture risk. However, you can avoid it by being more careful, wearing appropriate padding, working out to keep muscles strong & flexible, warming up, practicing good techniques, not playing in pain, discomfort, and not leaving any injuries untreated, even minor ones.
5. Back injuries
Your back and spinal column undergo some level of stress with almost every sports activity. Over time, this stress may accumulate into inflammation around the vertebrae and back muscles, sometimes causing injuries to the discs and frequently causing upper or lower back pain.
Sometimes a sudden jarring impact may also cause an acute injury to the back. Back treatments vary widely depending on the condition, ranging from rest to physical therapy to surgery. The best way to reduce your risk of back pain and injury is to keep your back muscles strong and flexible with regular low-impact activities, warmups, and even a good diet.
6. Rotator cuff injury
The rotator cuff is an inside part of your shoulder, allowing you to freely move and keep the shoulder stable. Athletes are at a greater risk of sustaining rotator cuff injuries because of repeated continuous shoulder movements. Swollen shoulder, pain when you lift your arm, pain when you reach behind your back, etc are rotator cuff injury symptoms.
Those who practice sports such as swimming, weightlifting, tennis, basketball, volleyball, etc usually face rotator cuff injuries.
Physiotherapy helps treat such injuries and trains the patient on how they can be more careful and avoid recurrence.
7. Tennis elbow & Golfer's elbow
Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are both painful conditions, usually caused by overuse and repetitive activity. The pain is the result of torn ligaments of the elbow, and the tendons are inflamed. If you play tennis or golf then you’re definitely at risk of suffering from this.
You will feel pain on the inside as well as outside of the elbow. Weakness when trying to grab some object is also a symptom. Tennis elbow physiotherapy and some stretching exercise is the treatment for Tennis elbow/Golfer’s elbow. An athlete can avoid suffering from it by taking needed breaks between activities and warming up before playing.
8. Plantar fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of a group of tissues of a tendon in the arch of the foot. This causes sharp pain with each step. Plantar Fasciitis is common in runners, joggers, soccer, basketball player, and more. Pain near the heel is one of the several symptoms. Proper stretching and required rest can help you prevent it.
Physiotherapy, pain relievers, steroid injections, surgery, stretching exercises, shoe inserts, etc are available treatments for Plantar Fasciitis.
People often confuse dislocation with broken bones. Dislocation is when the ends or joints of your bones are forced out of their normal position.
Dislocations are common if you play sports such as soccer, football, basketball, cricket, and so on. You may dislocate knees, shoulders, hips, jaw, elbows, and ankles. You may also dislocate fingers or toe joints. If you dislocate any of your joints you’ll experience pain, and it will get swollen.
A dislocated joint is a serious injury, you may not be able to move it, therefore seek medical attention earliest. Treatment totally depends on the severity of the injury. Although the treatment includes medicine, a splint or sling, and rehabilitation. It’ll probably take you a few weeks to heal and function again.
10. Swollen Muscles
Fatigue, overuse, or improper use of muscles results in swollen muscles. Your muscle gets overstretched or torn. Any muscle can get swollen, although it is most common in your lower back, shoulder, hamstring, and neck.
Swollen muscles cause pain and limit your movement. It can be mild to severe and can be treated at home using heat, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. If the muscle strain is severe then you might have to seek medical treatment or physical therapy.
Sports like tennis, golf, baseball, and rowing can cause swollen muscles. Poor posture, holding your neck in an awkward position, jumping, running etc can also be reasons for swollen muscles.
Author - Denish Tamakuwala
Denish Tamakuwala is a Physiotherapist and Clinic Director at Innova Physio. He is a Registered Physiotherapist with a Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Science. He obtained a Diploma degree (honours) in Fitness & Health Promotion from Humber College. He possesses extensive knowledge and practical experience in therapy and rehabilitation treatment. Apart from assisting his patients through physiotherapy, he loves to compose informational articles to educate the mass.