Sports injuries are the injuries that occur when playing sports and doing exercises. Most of these sport injuries affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones that are associated with the movement and stability. Though exercise and sports are part and parcel of life, you may get hurt when participating in them if you don't use the proper equipment and technique. There has been an increasing trend over the last few years of sports injuries so proper awareness is a good start to preventing more.
Why Do People Get Sports Injuries?
There can be several reasons behind sports injuries. Here are some of the most common reasons athletes and other people get injured when playing sports. If you are encountering any of them, beware, as you are at risk of getting a sports injury!
- Being ignorant, using improper techniques or equipment
- Not following protective measures
- Not warming up properly before exercise
- Haven’t been regularly active or doing that activity
- Overdoing any exercise
- Playing contact sports often
- Taking part in activities like running, jumping, etc., where there are more chances for accidents to happen
The Most Common Types of Sports Injuries
Injuries are categorized into acute or chronic injuries. Acute is an injury that occurs suddenly like when you fall or you hit your knee on something hard. Chronic injury occurs gradually over a period of time and is related to overuse. These common sorts of injuries can be acute or chronic:
Shoulder injuries account for about 20% of sports injuries. Here are some of the sports injuries related to shoulder:
Dislocation of Shoulder
Some traumatic or non-traumatic factors can cause the dislocation of the body's most mobile joint. An intense force pulling the shoulder out of the joint can cause a shoulder dislocation. It's one of the highly painful sports injuries that require a relatively long time to recover.
Rotator Cuff Injury
An overpowered arm might tear any of the tendons or rotator cuff. The sports which require repeated overhand motion make athletes vulnerable to this injury. Basketball players, tennis players, and swimmers are most affected by Rotator Cuff injury. Stiffness, weakness, and pain in the shoulder, accompanied by decreased range of motion, are the most common symptoms of this injury.
SLAP Lesions or Tears
SLAP Tears - Superior Labral Antero-Posterior Tear is the rips that ring around the shoulder socket. Athletes mainly involved in tackling, heavy lifting, and throwing are more prone to these shoulder injuries. SLAP tear mainly occurs from repetitive overhead motions involved in most sports, including baseball. Symptoms are unpleasant pain sensations and decreased range of motion.
Elbow injuries are common with tennis and other racket type sports. The most common elbow injuries include:
Tennis Elbow, a type of tendinitis, is an injury that affects tendons outside the elbow joint. It mainly affects those muscles that control forearm use. Starting from the weakened grip and leading to burning and painful soreness. Most tennis players get affected by this injury; however, swimming and even typing can also result in this injury.
Flexor Tendinitis is the swelling of tendons that control hand movement. It's mainly caused by strenuous and repetitive activities like throwing, etc. The main symptoms of this elbow injury include swelling and pain on the inside of the elbow and inflammation of the tendons.
Some of the most common ankle injuries are:
A sprained ankle is the most common lower appendage injury and the most common sports injury too. According to research 28, 000 people sprain their ankles daily in the U.S. this injury varies from a simple ligament strain to a complex one. The simple ligament strains cure in almost a week or two, but the sufferer might need surgery for the latter.
Achilles tendon links the calf muscle to your heel. Overstress and over usage of this tendon results in tears leading to inflammation and pain – the main symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis. Using orthotics for sports like running can help avoid this injury.
Knee injuries account for more than 55% of sports-related injuries. Some most common knee injuries are:
Fractures and Dislocation
The knee is protected by a kneecap or patella that acts as a protective shield for the joint against any injury during a fall. Kneecap fractures require surgery in some cases; however, most often, they get cured by immobilization.
Dislocation, on the other hand, results due to major traumas like high-speed impacts, car crashes, or falls. Twisting of the knee with one foot being placed on the ground can also be the cause of it. It usually takes about six weeks to heal a dislocated knee.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The knee tissue joining upper and lower leg bones can be torn if the leg becomes twisted or the lower leg extends forward too much. The injury can be acute, involving a small tear in the ligament, or chronic, involving a complete tear when the ligament gets completely separated from the bone. Severe pain, swelling, instability, etc., are the symptoms of ALC.
Symptoms of Injuries
Symptoms of sports injuries vary from injury to injury. However, some common symptoms can be shortlisted depending on whether you have; an acute or chronic injury.
- Symptoms of an acute injury are:
- Unbearable sudden and intense pain
- Extreme bruising or swelling
- Being unable to carry weight on knee, leg, ankle, or foot
- Experiencing trouble in moving a joint normally
- A visible out-of-place joint or experiencing extreme weakness in an injured limb
- Symptoms of chronic injuries include:
- Experiencing pain when playing or exercising that you’ve had in the past
- Swelling or feeling sensation of mild aches during the rest period
When to See a Doctor?
Many mild injuries can be treated with RICE or rest, ice, compress, and elevation of the injured body part. However, if you are observing severe swelling, pain, or deformity, you need to go to a doctor right away. If symptoms continue to last longer than a few days, it’s best to contact your doctor as well. Never ignore serious symptoms. The earlier you diagnose your injury, the earlier you can start the healing process so that you can resume your favorite sport or exercise. In addition to RICE, your doctor or care provider may suggest medications or injections as treatments.
Getting exercise is vital to good health and sports are a great way to get exercise. However, we need to take steps to prevent getting injured. If you do get injured, you should take the correct steps to let it heal and get it treated if necessary.
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