Common Sports Injuries and Prevention

Common Sports Injuries and Prevention

Sports injuries are mood dampeners, whether you are a seasoned athlete or a recreational sports person, they cost you to miss a few sporting sessions for the lighter injuries to being put on a cast and immobilized for severe injuries. No matter how well you maintain your shape and fitness, you are bound to have suffered from one type of injury or another amidst participation in sports. The following are a few types of common sports injuries and means of prevention. 

Runners Knee

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This is the pain felt slightly above, below or to the sides of the kneecap while running, and usually worsens when you run on a non-level surface, especially up and down steep slopes. Runner’s knee often plagues runners who have engaged in a sudden spike in mileage (running distance) over a short period of time without progressive build up training. Building up good core and hip strength by physical conditioning could reduce the imbalances in body weight distribution and reduce the strain put on the knees whilst running. Regularly replacing worn out soles on your running shoes and getting better-cushioned insoles could also help to prevent this knee injury as well. It is important not to run through the pain and rest when necessary. 

Ankle Sprain

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Ankle sprains are the most common injuries for football players and they happen when the ligaments that connect the anklebones are overstretched or torn when the ankle turns too much inwards or outwards. They can put you out of action from a few days for mild sprains to up to two or three months for more severe sprains. Improving the strength and flexibility of your ankles are key to injury prevention. Exercises such as heel walking and calf raises can strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle. You can also partake in resistance band exercises to strengthen your ankles. Flexibility can be improved through stretching of the calf muscle, and it is important to hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds. 

Tennis Elbow

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As the name suggests, this is often an injury that plagues tennis players and other players of racket sports. It results from overuse and repetitive motions, which causes inflammation to the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow, causing persistent pain and soreness.

Image Credit: No More Pain Ergonomics

Share the load by activating your shoulder and upper arm muscles, and strengthening the wrist and forearm muscles can help in injury prevention. It is important to stick to the middle range of motion, by not bending or straightening your arms all the way, to reduce the chances of the injury. 

Achilles Tendinitis

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Mild aches in the back of the foot or above the heel after running or other sports activity are usually cause by a swollen or torn Achilles tendon. Episodes of more-severe pain may occur after prolonged running, stair climbing or sprinting and you may even feel stiffness or tenderness in the morning. It is a result of overuse of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissues that connect calf muscles at the back of your lower leg to the heel bone. Ensuring the shoes you use have adequate cushioning for the heel and firm arch support, as well as stretching of the calf muscles can help to prevent this injury. Alternating your exercise intensity (eg. Swimming the day after long distance runs) may also help to prevent Achilles Tendinitis. 

Various Muscle Strains

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A muscle strain, or a pulled muscle occurs when your muscle is overstretched or torn, and they are most common in your back, calves and hamstrings. Muscle strains can keep you out of action for weeks and even months if you aggravate the injury. They often occur due to a lack of flexibility of the muscles, as you suddenly engage in activities that over extend these muscle groups. Therefore, stretching before and after exercises is key to preventing muscle strains. Dynamic stretching is encouraged before you participate in any sports and static stretching can be used afterwards to cool down after your activity. 

Always go to a doctor for proper diagnosis to ensure that the injury sustained will not cause permanent damage. Many casual sportsmen tend to overlook the seriousness of an injury and avoid seeing specialists. Sometimes, the injury might worsen or in more serious cases, the damage done will not fully heal or heal with a tear. Notably in bone injuries are recoveries which causes future issues when the splinters from the cracked bone gets buried inside your muscle tissue.

An appointment with an Orthopedic specialist would encourage prevention, a proper diagnosis, and thorough treatment of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles.

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