Injuries caused by sports can be painful and may inhibit your ability to continue doing sports and exercises. Sports injuries are rather common as there are many unexpected events that may happen during sports so it is important to be aware of what you can do to prevent sports injuries and what treatment options are available if you have an injury.
Here are five of the most common types of sports injuries to look out for:
1. Sprains and strains
Sprains affect the ligaments which are the tissues that connect bones. Ligaments also provide stability to the joints, and allow proper movement and function. If ligaments are stretched beyond what they are capable of, they can tear or lengthen which can be painful. Strains are injuries that affect the muscles. Sprains and strains can be caused by overuse or excessive stretching but the severity of these injuries can vary. These injuries can affect many areas of the body, but most commonly the ankles, knees, wrists, and shoulders.
2. ACL Tear
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) holds the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur (thigh bone) and is very important to maintain the stability of the knee joint. It also provides rotational stability of the knee joint during sporting activity. The ACL can get sprained or even tear if there are certain movements or high-velocity impacts. Surgery may be required for more severe ACL tears.
3. Shin splints
Shin splints refer to pain in the lower legs and it is common in people who run a lot. It is caused by overstraining the muscles attached to the shin. This can be a result of increasing training too quickly, having poor running mechanics, wearing improper footwear, or running on hard and angled surfaces.
4. Tennis elbow
Tennis elbow doesn’t only affect tennis players or people who play sports that involve the use of the elbow. It can also affect anyone who uses their elbows in sports and daily activities. This can include people who use computers for long periods of time or people who operate machinery. Tennis elbow is a result of repetitive stress to the muscles of the arm which attach to the elbow.
Bone fractures take time to recover and can cause chronic pain and dysfunction. Fractures may be caused by acute injuries or chronic stress being placed on the bones over time. The severity of bone fractures can vary and the treatment required will also vary according to different peoples needs. Sports that have repetitive impact can cause stress fractures and sports that have high-velocity movements can cause acute fractures.
Preventing sports injuries
Sports injuries commonly occur when people do not have sufficient warm-ups before the activity. Other causes can be attributed to incorrect use of equipment or lack of safety equipment. It is hard to prevent injury at all times because sports is unpredictable but precautionary measures can be taken to reduce the chances of injury. These involve warming up sufficiently before any exercise or sports, using the correct protective equipment for the exercises, using the correct techniques and forms, not overworking or straining your body, keeping hydrated, and finally, cooling-down sufficiently after exercise.