Sports injuries occur while playing indoor or outdoor sports or during exercise. Sports injuries can occur due to accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, and insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises. The most common sports injuries are sprains, strains, fractures, and dislocations.
The most common treatment recommended for injury is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).
- Rest: Avoid activities that may cause injury
- Ice: Ice packs can be applied to the injured area which will help to diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied by covering in a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin
- Compression: Compression of the injured area helps to reduce swelling. Elastic wraps, air casts, and splints can accomplish compression of the injured area
- Elevation: Elevate the injured part above heart level to reduce swelling and pain.
Some of the measures that are followed to prevent sports related injuries include:
- Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles
- Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercise
- Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear such as elbow guards, eye gear, facemasks, mouthguards and pads, comfortable clothes, and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity which will help to reduce the chances of injury
- Make sure that you follow warm up and cool down exercises before and after sports activity. Exercises will help to stretch the muscles, increase flexibility, and that reduce soft tissue injuries
- Avoid exercising immediately after eating a large meal
- Maintain a healthy diet which will nourish the muscles
- Avoid playing when you are injured or tired. Take a break for some time after playing
- Learn all the rules of the game before participation
- Ensure that you are physically fit to play sports
Some of the common sports injuries include:
Foot and ankle Injuries
Foot and ankle injuries include the injuries in the leg below the knee and they are common while playing sports such as football, hockey, skating and other activities. Treatment for such conditions includes orthotics, braces, physical therapy, injections or surgery. Common sports injuries include sprains, strains, ankle fractures, and Achilles tendinitis.
Severe pain in shoulder while playing your favorite sports such as tennis, basketball and gymnastics may be due to torn ligament in the shoulder or may be due to shoulder dislocation. Shoulder injuries may be caused due to the overuse of shoulder while playing sports. Simple pain or acute injuries are treated with conservative interventions whereas chronic injuries may require surgical treatment.
Fractures of the femur bone, labral tear and hip dislocation are some of the common sports injuries affecting the hip. Hip joint bears more weight and is more susceptible for injuries while playing sports. Hip injuries require immediate medical treatment to avoid further complications. Rehabilitation programs and physical therapy is often recommended following the medical treatments, where you have to perform certain exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve the movements.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a major stabilizing ligament in the knee which may tear due to the overuse of knee while playing sports. The ACL has poor healing ability that may cause instability in the knee. Other common sports injuries in knee are cartilage damage and meniscal tear. Sports knee injuries may require surgical interventions that can be performed using open surgical or minimally invasive technique. Your surgeon will recommend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles, improve elasticity, and to improve the movements of bones and joints.
Click on the topics below to find out more from the Orthopaedic connection websites of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
- ACL Injury: Should it be fixed?
- Activities After a Knee Replacement
- Additional Resources on the Knee
- Adolescent Anterior Knee Pain
- Arthritis of the Knee
- Care of the Aging Knee: Baby Boomers May Need Lifestyle Changes
- Cemented and Cementless Knee Replacement
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Frequently Asked Questions about Osteoarthritis of the Knee
- Goosefoot (Pes Anserine) Bursitis of the Knee
- Knee Arthroscopy
- Knee Arthroscopy Exercise Guide
- Knee Implants
- Knee Replacement Exercise Guide
- Kneecap (Prepatellar) Bursitis
- Meniscal Tear
- Meniscal Transplants
- Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement
- Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
- Orthopaedists Research Female Knee Problems
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Knee Pain)
- Osteonecrosis of the Knee
- Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Tear
- Rotating Platform/Mobile-bearing Knees
- Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain)
- Surgical Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee
- The Knee
- Total Knee Replacement
- Unstable Kneecap
- Viscosupplementation Treatment for Arthritis
Sports Medicine Topics
Click on the topics below to find out more from the Orthopaedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
- Exercises for Young Athletes
- Heat Injury
- Muscle contusion (bruise)
- Muscle cramp
- Prevent Golf Injuries
- Prevent Inline Skating Injuries
- Prevent Scooter-Related Injuries
- Return To Play
- Shin splints
- Skateboarding Safety
- Sports Nutrition
- Sprains and Strains
- Stress Fractures
- Women and ACL Injuries