No matter if you play on the weekends or in the NFL, most people who love to play sports have had an injury occur. Sports are great for exercise and they keep you very active, but you have to be careful about how hard you push yourself and do your best to avoid the injuries that could occur with the particular activity you do.
Knowing which injuries to look out for can give you an advantage, not just in learning how to play smart, but also in choosing equipment you can to better protect you from injury. Below you will learn about the most common sports injuries, as well as ways to overcome and recover from them, so you can get back to doing what you love.
Common Sports Injuries
1. Knee Injury
Knee injuries are caused when the kneecap repeatedly moves across the leg bone, damaging the kneecap’s tissue and causing pain. This injury happens most often in football, swimming, basketball, cycling, running and volleyball. It accounts for 25% of all orthopedic surgeries. Knee injuries should be taken seriously; without rest and healing, they won’t heal properly and you eventually may need surgery to repair the damage.
2. Tennis and Golf Elbow
Tennis elbow occurs when tendons in the elbow start to degenerate due to repeated motion of the elbow and wrist. While its name implies that it is attained by playing sports, tennis players are not the only ones affected by tennis elbow. Painters, plumbers, carpenters and butchers often are affected by tennis elbow, due to the repetitive nature of their work.
Golf elbow is similar to tennis elbow, but occurs on the inside of the elbow, rather than the outside. It is caused by the inflammation of the epicondyle, a protuberance with tendons and ligaments that usually affects the inside of your elbow.
Tennis and golf elbow occur most commonly in workers and athletes who are typically between 30 and 60 years old. The best way to treat tennis or golf elbow initially is to rest the injury. Ice and anti-inflammatory medication may also help speed up your healing process. Your physician may prescribe exercises to help correct the issue and prevent long term problems.
3. Shoulder Injury
Shoulder injuries, including dislocations, sprains and strains, are caused by overuse and make up around 25% of all sports injuries. Sports that require overhead movement such as tennis, weightlifting, baseball, basketball, swimming and volleyball are the most common sports associated with shoulder injury. For shoulder injuries, your physician may recommend treating it with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication, and stretching exercises.
Sciatica refers to a pain that travels along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from the lower back to the hips and buttocks and down through each leg. Most often, sciatica affects only one side of your body. This injury can be caused by stretching incorrectly and occurs most often with those who participate in cycling, running, golf, and tennis.
Back spasms can be an occurrence with sciatica and are treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medication. See a doctor if the pain is not getting better as you may have a bulging disc or other injuries that stretching can’t fix.
Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that can affect brain function after hitting your head. Not all concussions come with a loss of consciousness, and are sometimes dismissed by those who acquire them, although they are serious injuries.
Concussion symptoms include nausea, difficulty concentrating, loss of balance, dizziness, amnesia, disorientation, headaches and other symptoms. Athletes in contact sports are often more highly at risk, but just going about your daily life can be dangerous if you hit your head, so always be aware and contact a doctor immediately if you experience a head injury.
It can take about two weeks to a month for a concussion to heal if the person rests well. Headaches associated with concussions can be subdued with over the counter pain relievers. Be aware that receiving multiple concussions can cause permanent damage to the brain. Returning to a sport — such as football — too quickly after a concussion can result in something called second impact syndrome, where your brain can swell rapidly, a condition that is most often fatal.
6. Groin Pull
Your inner thigh muscle is also called the groin. The muscles in your groin fan out and help pull the leg muscles together when you exert them. Sports like hockey, football and soccer have high instances of groin pulls due to their rapid side to side motions.
Groin pulls can cause bruising along the inside of your thigh and can take one to two weeks to heal with ice and rest. If there is any swelling around the groin area where you were injured, make sure to get checked out by a doctor.
Sports Medicine That Heals.
You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from the plethora of programs a Sports Medicine Specialist has at their disposal. Their stunning medical leaps can be used to benefit people from all walks of life to improve their health in a variety of ways.
Thunder Basin Orthopaedics has outstanding Sports Medicine staff to assist you with your health and fitness goals. Contact us today for more information about sports medicine or any of your orthopedic needs.