Imagine you’re a sports freak, all pumped for a game, and BAM! Injury strikes. Frustrating, right? The frustration of being unable to perform your best can lead to physical and emotional stress. This underscores the importance of understanding sports injuries and treatment.
Sports injuries are common throughout playing a sport or during exercise. While some injuries can be treated at home with compression, ice, rest, elevation, or over-the-counter medications, others may need medical intervention such as physical therapy, immobilization, and surgery.
What are sports injuries?
Sports injuries are common occurrences in athletic activities that can range from minor to severe. They happen when there is trauma to a body part, like a bone, muscle, ligament, or tendon, caused by acute or repetitive impact, awkward movements, or overuse during sports or exercise.
Multiple factors can affect sports injuries, such as lack of proper strength, flexibility, poor warm-up, and stretching, which can predispose muscles and tendons to tears and inflammation.
Who can get a sports injury?
Although sports injuries can happen to anyone, the affected are:
- Those who are out of shape.
- Those who don’t wear the right protective equipment.
- Those who exercise without warm-up and cooling down.
- Those who participate in sports activities that may involve collision.
- Those involved in sports activities like jumping, running, and changing direction quickly.
What are the most common sports injuries?
Sports injuries can happen to any person, regardless of whether you are a highly trained athlete or a casual sportsperson. There are many types of sports injuries, and some of the most common are:
A concussion is a traumatic head injury caused by a direct blow or jolt that causes brain tissue damage. It can lead to symptoms like headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, slurred speech, and delayed responses to questions.
Treatment: Concussions range in severity but require cognitive and physical rest before gradually resuming normal activity to allow proper healing. More serious cases can last for months. The most common treatment includes physical and mental rest.
A groin pulls or groin strain refers to tearing or overstretching of the adductor muscles of the inner thigh. It usually happens due to explosive movements requiring power and speed, like sprinting or changing direction in sports. This causes sudden pain and tenderness, bruising, muscle spasms, and difficulty moving the leg.
Treatment: The treatment of a groin pull includes (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), and gentle stretching before rebuilding strength. Healing time depends on severity but can take a few weeks or more.
Shin splints result from repetitive stress on the shin bones and connective tissues from impact activities like running. It leads to inflammation, swelling, and pain along the inner shin area. Athletes usually get shin splints during their early season as they increase their activities.
Treatment: Treatment focuses on rest, icing, activity modification, strengthening exercises, orthotics, and addressing training errors. Taking prompt measures can resolve symptoms and prevent recurrence or stress fractures. Buying shoes with good arch support can also help reduce shin pain and aid in recovery.
Sciatica refers to radiating pain that travels down to the back of the leg or even to the feet. This radiating pain can be associated with burning, numbness, and tingling down the leg. Sciatica can be seen in athletes with a forward-bending posture, such as cyclists, or in athletes with a lot of trunk rotation in swing sports, such as golf and tennis. Typical symptoms include unilateral pain from the lower back to below the knee.
Treatment: The treatment aims first to reduce nerve inflammation using rest, ice/heat, medications, physical therapy, injections, or chiropractic treatment. Most cases resolve themselves over time with conservative treatment.
A hamstring muscle strain refers to partial or complete tears in the tendons or muscles in the back of the thigh when overstretched. It can result in pain, bruising, and difficulty walking. They commonly happen in sports requiring bursts of speed, like sprinting, or during movements using a combination of hip and knee flexion.
Treatment: The treatment consists of rest, ice, compression, and elevating the leg to decrease swelling and pain. Gentle range of motion exercises may follow to regain flexibility before rebuilding strength in the hamstring muscles. If the pain continues for more than two weeks, you should try physical therapy or look for other methods that can promote healing.
Tennis or Golf Elbow is usually found in those who perform regular gripping activities. Due to the repetition of activities, the tendons in your forearm can become inflamed and make your motion extremely painful.
Treatment: As early treatment, doctors might prescribe anti-inflammatory medication, ice, braces, and physical therapy to help alleviate symptoms. Stretching and strengthening exercises from a therapist dissolve stiffness and build strength, allowing athletes to return to their sports.
Shoulder injuries in sports are very common due to the instability, dislocations, and misalignment of the joints. Many shoulder injuries can result from a shortage of flexibility, strength, or stability.
Treatment: The treatment course depends on severity – minor injuries may heal with rest, while rotator cuff repairs require surgery. If the pain persists for more than two weeks, you need to get evaluated by a physical therapist.
It is also known as “runner’s knee”. It refers to pain around and behind the kneecap due to irritation and inflammation of cartilage or bones. Sometimes, falling on your knee can cause swelling and create a muscle imbalance that affects the proper tracking of the kneecap. This problem can lead to even more swelling and worsen the tracking issue.
Treatment: Treatment focuses on rest, icing after activity, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. A physical therapist might use knee tapping or bracing to help with proper tracking.
How can 1st Choice Health help you?
Preparation and care can prevent common sports injuries. Choosing 1st Choice Sports Rehab can be a winning move for sports-related injuries in Decatur and Johns Creek, Georgia. We offer a personalized touch to your sports injury care with advanced rehabilitation strategies and chiropractic care to ensure effective results. Schedule your appointment for the winning difference.