Sports-related injuries can happen to anybody — from the most trained athlete, to a person who enjoys playing a game every once in a while. Sports is physically demanding, making our bodies undergo many forms of stress and trauma.
There are a few common sports injuries that are important to know about. No matter how healthy or physically fit you keep yourself in, the odds are that you may suffer from some or the other type of injury. But the risk of injury should never be a deterrent from playing sports. By being aware of a few common sports injuries, you can reduce the risk of getting hurt as well as be aware of some pain management techniques.
Knees are joints that endure a lot of impact during most physical activities. Knee injuries are one of the most common sports injuries treated by orthopedics. Some common knee injuries are tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), cartilage tears, dislocation and fractures. Pre-workout warmups and stretches go a long way in preventing knee injuries. Replacing the insoles of your shoes regularly can reduce the risk of injury. Good padding and bracing in the case of contact sports is one of the best forms of prevention. In case of an injury, it is advisable to take a break from working out for a few days. If pain persists, visit a pain management specialist.
A concussion is most common in contact sports like football and hockey, where a blow to the head usually causes this injury. A concussion occurs when a sudden impact on the head causes the brain to stagger inside the skull, sometimes damaging the tissues that hold it in place. Concussions can cause disorientation and dizziness, among other symptoms. Although concussions heal naturally with rest within a week or two, it is crucial to seek a medical evaluation post a concussion. The best way to reduce the risk of concussion is to wear protective headgear when playing contact sports.
Sprains occur when there is a ligament pull or tear. Ligaments are tissues that connect from bone to bone. Ankle sprains are common in athletic sports like running and jumping. Sprains can be painful and require a longer time to heal. Strengthening your ankles by performing stretches and warmups is one way of preventing ankle sprains. In case of an ankle sprain, treat it with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) and anti-inflammatories. Since sprains can weaken your ligaments over time, it is advisable to support the joint with a brace while playing.
Strains are muscle-related injuries. They are common simply because we use a lot of muscles and tendons during activities. When these muscles stretch farther than they should or move in ways they shouldn’t, they are left torn, damaged, and in pain. Pulled hamstrings, pulled groin muscles and strained quads are some usual muscle strains. Most strains are minor and heal naturally with rest. The best way to reduce the risk of strained muscles and tendons is to stretch properly and warm up before engaging in any sports activity.
Your back and spinal cord undergo some level of stress with almost every physical activity. Sports activities can lead to ligament sprains or back muscle strains. Back treatments can vary from rest, physical therapy to surgery, depending on the severity of the condition. Disc injuries and spine fractures can occur from a fall or sport and require immediate medical care. In such cases, it’s best to call 911 and get emergency medical care. The easiest way to reduce the risk of back pain and injury is to keep your back muscles strong and flexible with stretches, low-impact activities, warmups, and good posture.
Excessive activity of the lower legs, combined with a lack of proper support, can cause shin splints. Shin splints is pain caused due to over-usage of the shinbone, the large front bone in the lower leg. It occurs when an inflammation of the muscles in the shinbone is caused by repeated stress due to the high impacts of running, dodging or quick stops and starts. It is common among runners, joggers, soccer, and basketball players. Proper stretches and occasional rest are the two best preventatives.
Staying fit, healthy, and active is an important part of overall wellness. DrNewMed can provide comprehensive pain management treatments to help you recover from a wide range of sports injuries, including those involving the back and spine. If you need help to achieve your peak performance or bounce back strong and healthy after a sports injury, turn to our pain management doctors by visiting our pain management center for help.