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Different Types Of Sports Injuries And How To Prevent Them
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Different Types Of Sports Injuries And How To Prevent Them

Jan 20, 2019
Whether it’s an individual sport or a team one, athletic pursuits are a daily part of many people’s lives. While the benefits of physical activity cannot be overstated, injuries are one aspect of sports that everyone needs to look out for. Many sports injuries are quite common and what follows is a brief overview of the most common injuries, ways to prevent them, and treatment procedures should they occur.

Runner’s Knee

Defined: runner’s knee is a common term for patellofemoral syndrome or the wearing down of knee cartilage under the kneecap leading to overall discomfort. A colloquial term for the symptoms it produces rather than the cause, runner’s knee can have several different root causes. It can affect a wide range of athletes for sports in which the legs are heavily used such as swimming, cycling, football, basketball, and other sports.

Prevention: to prevent runner’s knee, proper leg support is required. Regularly replace sports shoes and shoe insoles as needed. Also, reduce overall pressure to the knee by running on less hard surfaces. Another approach is to not overuse the knees by switching up workout regimens to focus on different exercises or muscle groups.

Treatment: when runner’s knee symptoms arise, at least two days rest and anti-inflammatory medication is recommended to allow for recovery. If the healing process is slow, perform low impact exercise until the knee is fully recovered. When full physical activity resumes, stretching, proper warm-ups, and icing the knee for 20 minutes after the activity is completed will help prevent re-injury.

Tennis Elbow

Defined: tennis elbow is tendon irritation due to repetitive use of the elbow joint. Commonly found in tennis players where repetitive elbow motions are common, it can also affect golfers. Tennis elbow can affect the outside or inside of the elbow.

Prevention: to prevent tennis elbow, increasing arm and forearm strength can reduce pressure on the joint. Other preventive measures include improvement of swing techniques and wearing an elbow brace or pad.

Treatment: to treat tennis elbow, RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) and anti-inflammatory medicine may be all that is needed. In more severe cases, physical therapy and a break from golf or tennis may be needed to allow the joint to recover.

Ankle Sprains

Defined: these injuries commonly occur in sports focused on quick and sudden movements such as soccer, hockey, and basketball. When suddenly twisted or bent, the ankle can sustain ligament and tendon damage up to and including tears and even broken bones, in severe cases.

Prevention: among sports injuries, ankle sprains are hard to prevent because they are sudden injuries. To decrease the odds of ankle sprains, special workouts and protective equipment can help. Ankle lifts can strengthen the ankle’s muscles and increase flexibility which can help protect against injury. Also taping the ankles or wearing protective braces can hold the ankle in place to help prevent sudden movements.

Treatment: most ankle sprains can be treated with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. After a day of rest it is important to exercise the ankle to allow for circulation and to retain flexibility and strength. Note that for the more severe high ankle sprains, a doctor’s appointment should be scheduled to check for bone separation or breaks.

Muscle Pulls

Defined: this is a highly common sports injury. A muscle pull can occur in any major muscle group, but specific sports tend to cause specific injuries. For example, a hamstring pull often occurs in sports that involved a lot of running or quick sprints such as jogging, soccer, basketball, and track. By comparison, calf pulls are common in tennis as are back pulls in weightlifting.

Prevention: most muscle pulls are caused by improper preparation or fatigue. Before and after playing any sport, proper stretching should be done keep the muscles relaxed. Also, depending on the level of physical activity, a slight warm up is also advisable after stretching. Proper time to heal is essential as many muscle pulls are caused by normal fatigue and overwork. To prevent fatigue from becoming an issue, the body needs time off to recover and heal. A person should not play sports when overly fatigued, weak, or unwell.

Treatment: muscle pulls are easily treated using common treatment methods such as RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) that facilitates healing and allows pulled muscles time to recover. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs are also effective in reducing pain.

Multi-Care Medical

At Multi-Care Medical, we treat a wide variety of sports injuries at our locations in Pembroke Pines, Fort Myers, Naples and Cape Coral, Florida. To stay in great health, physical activity is a requirement. While sports allow you to stay in shape and have fun, they are not without risks. Sports injuries are common in all sports, but with proper preventative measures you can reduce the chances of injury.

Do you believe that you’re suffering from an injury related to your physical fitness? Are you uncertain whether it’s exercise related? We can help. Contact us today to make an appointment.
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