Playing sports is a vital part of living a healthy, active lifestyle. The benefits of sports and other exercises go beyond healthy weight loss, enhancing cardiovascular health and improving muscular strength. It’s invigorating when you can have fun and maintain physical fitness at the same time. However, things are not always perfect. You might trip and fall or move in the wrong way and collide with your teammate leading to a sports injury.
The risk of injuries should not deter you from participating in sports. Being aware of the most common sports injuries can help you take preventive measures and reduce the risk of getting hurt. Moreover, it helps you learn how to take care of the injuries before they ruin your performance for good.
Here’s a look at some of the most common sports injuries:
Strains are undoubtedly the most common injuries among sports players or anyone who engages in strenuous physical activity. As a player, your muscles and tendons are susceptible to overstretching or moving in directions they shouldn’t move, which can leave them damaged and in pain. Hamstrings, strained quads and pulled groin muscles are some common muscle strains. Most of these strains can heal naturally with aggressive physical therapy and some rest.
Ankle sprains are by far the most frequent type of sprains among sports enthusiasts, followed by knee sprains, elbow sprains and wrist sprains. Sprains are more painful and take longer to heal than muscle strains. They often leave your ligaments weak and prone to future sprains. If you have a sprain or have ever experienced one, seek assistance from a physical therapist before it develops into a serious, recurrent issue.
The knee joint endures a lot of strenuous activity that results in different injuries. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, cartilage tears, fractures and dislocation are problems sports players face occasionally. Some of these knee injuries are extremely painful and debilitating, sometimes requiring complex medical procedures to correct. While proper padding and bracing, alongside good posture and warm-ups, reduce the risk of injuries, physical therapy can alleviate the pain and help you recover.
Plantar fasciitis and shin splints
We have grouped these injuries together as they are interrelated and common among players who over-engage their feet and legs. Plantar fasciitis describes an inflammation of the tendons in the arch of your foot, often causing a sharp pain when walking. On the other hand, shin splints are an inflammation of the lower leg muscles caused by too much stress and high impacts of dodging, running, quick starts and random stops.
Tennis elbow is an injury associated with consistent straining of ligaments in the elbow region, especially due to repetitive strenuous activity. While most people think that only tennis players are prone to this injury, the truth is that it can happen to anyone. The best preventive measure is exercising caution while playing. Pace yourself, take breaks and always warm up before playing. Additionally, remember to seek professional assistance from a physical therapist.
Most impact sports often lead to bone fractures on the arms, legs or feet. Untreated muscle strains and sprains can also increase your vulnerability to bone fractures. You can reduce the risk of fractures by warming up before exercises, working out frequently, practicing good technique and wearing appropriate padding. However, if you incur a fracture, remember the first move should be seeking medical assistance.
How to handle common sports injuries
One of the most effective ways of preventing sports injuries is exercising consistently. Begin every workout session with a gentle warm-up to increase flexibility and enhance blood flow to your muscles.
If you require assistance with any of the above sports injuries, get in touch with us at our Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Mattawan, Plainwell or Portage, Michigan clinics. We’ll work with you to manage the pain, provide skilled treatment and help you get on the road to recovery.
Contact us today to schedule an initial appointment.