9 Most Common Sports Injuries & How To Tackle Them
Sports activities are best for leading a healthy, happy and active lifestyle. Sports activities are good for respiration, building muscular strength, and keeping your heart healthy.
But you cannot anticipate only good results from sports activities—sometimes a wrong move, an accident, or a trip can result in sports injuries too.
Here are the 9 most common sports injuries and their prevention; athletes and sports enthusiasts MUST KNOW.
Strains are the most common sports injury that may occur even while walking. They occur due to sudden muscle and tendons pull while stretching. Some common examples of muscle strains include hamstring strain, strained quads and groin muscle pull.
Although minor strains heal with rest, torn muscles need treatment. The best way to reduce the risk of muscle and tendon strain is to embrace a warm-up and stretching regimen before exercise or sports activities.
Sprains occur to ligaments. Ligaments are special connective tissues that join bone to bone. When these ligaments twist incorrectly, they pull or tear. Sprains occur in the ankle, knee, wrist and elbow joints.
Sprains are painful and lead to inflammation and immobilisation of affected joints. It’s best to start pre-workout stretches and warmups to avoid stress, strain and sprains.
Sprains can leave ligaments weak and susceptible to future sprains. Therefore, seeking sprain treatment is important even though you can endure the pain. Your sports injury specialist will guide you with the best support treatment.
3. ACL injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the strongest tissue band connecting the thighbone to the shinbone. The stress and sprain resulting in tumbling, dismounting, or sudden vaulting can injure the ACL.
A “pop” sound is heard in ACL injuries, followed by knee swelling within hours. The doctor will confirm it with X-ray or MRI reports. Dr Rik’s speciality, ACL reconstruction, is a minor surgery commonly recommended for ACL repair to gymnasts who wish to restore their fullest sports participation ASAP.
4. Achilles Tendons
The Achilles tendon occurs in the back of the heel due to the repetitive stress from jumping and landing. Gymnasts involved in high-thudding activities such as basketball, rugby, hockey, etc., are prone to having it. Foot immobilisation for ten to twelve days is prescribed for severe symptoms.
5. Knee injuries
The knee is one of the body’s most powerful and complicated joints. It performs a range of motion and endures most sports activities’ impact. Some common knee injuries include Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and cartilage tears, dislocation and fractures.
Knee injury symptoms include swelling and debilitating pain. Dr Rik may give you padding and a brace to better support your knees.
Fractures are bone breaks. They can occur to any bone, but knees, ankles, elbows, or other joints which are rigorously used in sports are more prone to having them.
They can occur due to sudden hit, fall, twist or flip of arms, legs and feet and take weeks of immobilisation to heal. Most fractures are treated with bracing, allowing bones to grow and heal naturally, but sometimes they require surgery to correct the fracture.
7. Tennis elbow
Tennis elbow is caused by ‘repetitive elbow overuse’, like in tennis. However, professionals such as carpenters or anyone with a job that demands repetitive elbow use are prone to tennis elbow.
The best way to avoid tennis elbow is “watching your moves” and keeping the pace balance of your elbows. Also, take breaks, stretch your arms, and always warm up before an activity.
Concussions occur when the head and brain are impacted severely due to an accident. They can cause headaches, dizziness, sleepiness or temporary loss of consciousness.
You may need to consult a spine-and-brain specialist to deal with a concussion injury. Most sports activities, such as basketball, cricket, football, hockey and others, involve a head injury and concussion risk. Wearing protective headgear during play is the best way to reduce concussion risk.
9. Back injuries
Your back and spinal column give the body a robust structure. But, at the same time, they undergo stress during sitting, standing, lifting, pushing and especially exercising or sports activity.
If back pain is caused due to a back injury, it will show pain, swelling, tingling sensations, or even numbness in muscles as symptoms.
Preparing your body before any rigorous activity with warm-ups is best to minimise sports injury risk. You can also consider the following tips to prevent sports injury.
Handy sports injuries tips for prevention
Prevention is always better than cure, so follow these tips
- Warm up wrist, elbow, knee and ankle muscles with rotational exercises and do 5-10 minutes full body warm-ups like jumping jacks, spot running, arm circles etc.
- Inspect equipment and check for padded floors safety harnesses and other safety equipment to secure your body against sports or gymming equipment.
- Wear safety gear such as wrist guards, hand grips, footwear, ankle or elbow braces, and pads while training or operating with types of equipment.
- If it hurts, do not pressurise your body anymore. Instead, see your doctor for recovery and treatment.
- Get first aid- right away!
Treatments for sports injuries
The treatments for a sports injury will depend on the type and extent of the sports injury. Besides the physical examination, Dr Rik will demand an X-ray, MRI or arthroscopy to diagnose the sporty injury. The treatments for sports injuries include
- Medications: The prescription will include anti-pain and anti-inflammation medications. Dr Rik may recommend steroidial injection for faster relief from pain, inflammation and immobility of the affected part.
- Warm and cold compress: It is a first aid treatment. Warm and cold compress works like wonder, and most sports injuries involving minor stress and sprain will subside with a cold compress.
- Braces and padding: You may be given bracing or padding to keep your injury immobilised and supported. It is typically advised in ligament rupture or minor fractures.
- Surgery: If you had an ACL, PCL, MCL tear or any other significant sports injury which will heal best with surgery, Dr Rik would prescribe surgery then.
The knee is the most affected part of sports injury. Dr Rik Kundra’s speciality, bone-preserving knee surgery, is known to preserve the natural anatomy of knees and increase their life with minimally invasive surgery.
All content and media on this page are created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Meet Dr. Rik personally for appropriate medical diagnosis and advice.