Sports Injuries

Sports injuries can happen to anyone. Most people have experienced minor injuries, such as an ankle sprain or a pulled muscle. Some injuries, such as tennis elbow, are due to overuse. Others, such as a concussion, are due to trauma. Some causes of sports injuries may be faulty equipment, improper warming up, or trying to increase your activity level too quickly. There are many other causes of injuries. Rest and ice may be sufficient treatment for minor injuries, but when in doubt, see your doctor.

Some people are more prone than others to overuse injuries. Imbalances between strength and flexibility around certain joints predispose individuals to injury.

The most common sports injuries...

  • Sprains - Sprains are tears to the ligaments that join the ends of bones together. The ankles, knees and wrists are commonly affected by sprains.
  • Strains - Pulls or tears of muscles or tendons, which are the tissues that attach the muscles to the bones.
  • Shin Splints - Pain along the outside front of the lower leg, commonly seen in runners Achilles tendonitis or rupture of the Achilles tendon. These injuries involve the large band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel.
  • Fractures of the bones
  • Dislocation of joints
Acute injuries usually occur suddenly while participating in sports or exercise. They may result in sudden and severe pain, the inability to bear weight on a limb or inability to move the affected part of the body. Chronic injuries usually result from overuse of one area of the body over a period of time. Symptoms of chronic injuries include soreness, dull aching pain and pain during participation in physical activity.

Training errors are a common cause of overuse injuries. These errors involve rapid acceleration of the intensity, duration or frequency of activity. Overuse injuries also happen in people who are returning to a sport or activity after injury and try to make up for lost time by pushing themselves to achieve the level of participation they were at before injury. Proper technique is critical in avoiding overuse injuries, as slight changes in form may be the culprit. For this reason, coaches, athletic trainers, and teachers can play a role in preventing recurrent overuse injuries.
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