The most common sports injuries that can happen when you hit the court.
Participating in one or more than one types of sports is important to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. It is not only good for the heart and respiration, but it is also beneficial for building and maintaining muscular endurance and strength. In a perfect world, playing sports only has good outcomes and nothing bad ever happens but of course, we do not live in a perfect world.
Moving in the wrong way, tripping and falling, making sudden contact with the ground or with other people - all these end up in muscles and joint injuries in sports. There are many types of injuries in sport, but you should not let them deter you from playing your favourite games. However, by being aware of some of the most common athletic training injuries, you can take the necessary steps to prevent or decrease the risk of hurting yourself.
Let’s look at 7, common athletes injuries that you might experience when you are out on the field:
Hip Flexor Strain
The hip flexor is a group of muscles, that help with the upward motion, of the knee or the leg. An injury occurs in them when these muscles get stretched too far or get torn. This can happen if you have stiff muscles, forget to warm up before a workout, have weak muscles, or you fall when exercising. It is the most common muscle injury in sports, people with hip flexor problems usually participate in sports that involve sudden changes in direction or sudden upward movements such as soccer, hockey, football, and martial arts.
Swelling, bruising, pain, and spasms, can be experienced, when your hip meets your leg. If you have a minor hip flexor injury, then you can heal it at home by taking rest, using ice, and pain medications including anti-inflammatory medicines. You can do different hip-strengthening exercises, however, if the pain persists, consult a doctor for a potentially torn hip flexor.
Knees and Meniscus injuries
There are quite a number of injuries that can result in pain in the knee, but one of the common sports injuries is a meniscus tear. These injuries occur when the cartilage gets torn as a consequence of a twisting movement when there’s a lot of weight on it, or it can happen from years of wear. These kinds of injuries are more frequent among weekend warriors or people, exercising, who are over 40. With these injuries, it’s important to keep in mind that one movement may not cause it. Plus, they’re often asymptomatic until the tear gets worse.
Concussions are brain injuries that occur when someone receives a significant impact to their head. While not all types of concussions end up in a loss of consciousness, they do often involve feeling nauseous, having difficulty concentrating, headaches, losing balance, disorientation, dizziness, amnesia, and other symptoms. People who take part in contact sports such as wrestling, boxing, hockey, soccer, and football most commonly suffer from concussions. Boxing and wrestling have similar injury rates for concussions (1). Plus, skiers and gymnasts are also at risk.
Getting multiple concussions can result in permanent damage to the brain. Returning to any contact sports way too quickly can also cause second-impact syndrome, which is a fatal condition, which happens after getting another concussion before your first concussion heals.
An ACL injury is a sprain or tear of the anterior cruciate ligament which is a major ligament in the knee. The biggest symptom of a torn ACL is hearing or feeling a “pop” in your knee with swelling, pain to bear weight, and unsteadiness. This kind of injury is most likely to happen with sudden changes in direction or stops, making the foot stay in one direction while your knee and body go in another. Typically, this happens in sports like soccer, downhill skiing, basketball, and football.
Surgery for ACL injuries is kind of common to keep stability and rotation in the knee, and without getting surgery, your body depends on other cartilage for protection. This can also put you at risk for arthritis in future. With these injuries, the longer you wait, to return to athletics, the better it is because it will build strength, endurance, and reduce your risk of re-injury.
No one likes to know that they have got a broken bone, but both acute and stress fractures occur during sports. Here is the difference between these two common sports injuries
- Acute Fractures: These occur from a specific, singular injury, and are sometimes called traumatic or complete fractures. While stress fractures are actually just tiny cracks in the bone, acute fractures are an actual break that needs to be set to heal. These kinds of fractures are caused by a distinct impact on the bone, ending up in an acute injury.
- Stress Fractures: These happen as a result of improper stress on the joints, which can have a lot of different causes. They usually occur when people suddenly change their activities or exercise routine, or when athletes don’t use the right equipment or technique to do a specific exercise.
Exercising too much and not giving your body enough rest can also raise your risk of stress fractures, and people with osteoporosis are especially at risk. The most common places to get stress fractures are the bones in the feet and lower legs.
Hamstring strains are common (1) in a lot of sports. A strain is a tendon or a muscle injury. There are 3 muscles behind your knee that make the hamstring. They most often get pulled when you overstretch or overuse the muscle. The pain is felt, because of the tears in the tendons and muscles, and even bruising can sometimes occur when you pull hamstrings. Doing activities like falling or hurdling forward while waterskiing are common reasons for a hamstring strain.
Plus, lack of flexibility and forgetting to warm-up can result in a pulled muscle, especially in the hamstring. One way to prevent the injury is learning to stop when you’re tired. Also, hamstrings take a very long time to heal. If you start exercising after pulling a hamstring, you should stop every once in a while in order to stretch the muscles. This tip also applies for any pulled muscle.
An ankle sprain happens when one or more than one ligament supporting a joint get torn or stretched. This can occur when the ankle twists or lands awkwardly with your body’s weight fully on it. Sports movements that can result in an ankle sprain include jumping like soccer, handball, basketball, (2) and football. Symptoms include pain when putting weight on the foot, bruising, restricted motion, and swelling.
The sprains range from mild to severe, and most ankle sprains don’t need surgery, and all you need is proper therapy. It’s common to feel pain even months after your sprain has healed, but you can still play. With proper rest, the right shoes, and communication with your doctor, you’re good to go.
With, these 7, common sports injuries in mind, play your favourite sports, be active, and take part in things, that you love, but be smart about it. Take preventive measures whenever you can, and listen to your body. In case of any injury, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
(1) Pappas, E., 2007. Boxing, wrestling, and martial arts related injuries treated in emergency departments in the United States, 2002-2005. Journal of sports science & medicine, 6(CSSI-2), p.58.
(2) Opar, D.A., Williams, M.D. and Shield, A.J., 2012. Hamstring strain injuries. Sports medicine, 42(3), pp.209-226.
(3) Fong, D.T.P., Hong, Y., Chan, L.K., Yung, P.S.H. and Chan, K.M., 2007. A systematic review on ankle injury and ankle sprain in sports. Sports medicine, 37(1), pp.73-94.
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