Most Common Athletic Injuries
Recovering From an Athletic Injury
Whether you are training, working out, or playing a vigorous game, a sports injury can happen at a moment’s notice. Whether you’ve sustained a minor injury or seem to have an old injury that still gives you problems from time to time, it’s vital to seek the help of a sports medicine professional. Getting treatment and advice is paramount to preventing further damage. Athletes aren’t strangers to injuries, so it’s probably safe to say that you’ve sustained an injury at some point in your athletic career. Here are the top sports injuries you should know.
A strain happens when a ligament tears or stretches. Ligaments are strong bands of fibrous tissue that connect your bones to your joints. Athletes are most likely to experience these injuries:
- Hamstring Sprain
- Ankle Sprain
- Groin Pull
- Shin Splints
Symptoms of a sprain may include:
- Limited mobility in the joint area
- Hearing or feeling a “pop” of the joint
A knee injury can cause severe pain and can affect both ligaments and tendons.
- ACL Tears: Tear of the anterior cruciate ligament.
- Patellofemoral Syndrome: Pain at the front of the knee or around the kneecap. May be more prevalent in those who participate in running and jumping sports.
- Dislocation: A joint injury that causes bones to fall out of their normal position.
- Meniscal Tears: Injury to knee cartilage that cushions and stabilized the joint.
- Bursitis: The inflammation of the bursae sac that cushions the bones, tendons, and muscles near the joints.
- Tendinitis: Inflammation of the tendons that attach bones to muscle.
Besides pain, symptoms of a knee injury may include:
- The affected area feels hot to the touch
- Limited mobility or difficulty moving the affected area
- Weight-bearing issues
- Popping or clicking sounds
- Knee locking
Also called epicondylitis, tennis elbow doesn’t just affect tennis players — many types of athletes are affected by this condition. Tennis elbow is the weakening of the tendons that adjoin the forearm muscles to the bones. Tennis elbow happens when you repeat the same motions using the elbow. Tennis elbow can be a painful condition; however, seeking a sports medicine doctor can improve healing time and help to alleviate pain.
Symptoms of tennis elbow may not be prevalent unless you are doing certain activities. You may feel pain and tenderness when you:
- Lift something
- Make a fist
- Grip an object
- Open a door
- Shake hands
- Raise your hand
- Straighten your wrist
Athletes may commonly have stress fractures due to repeated stress on the bone, which causes pressure. This type of stress will cause the bone to crack and is common in athletes because they overuse or do the same repetitive movements regularly. Athletes often see stress fractures in these parts of the body:
You may not feel any symptoms from a stress fracture. However, at times you may feel tenderness or swelling around the affected area. A stress fracture can worsen over time. If you feel any unusual symptoms or severe pain, even when resting, consult a sports medicine doctor as soon as possible.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
A rotator cuff injury can happen when the group of muscles or tendons surrounding the shoulder joint are damaged. Symptoms can be managed with physical therapy exercises that can help bring back flexibility and strength to the surrounding muscles of the shoulder joint.
Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury may include:
- Dull achiness deep within the shoulder
- Difficulty when raising your arm to touch your head or reaching behind your back
- Weakness in the arm
How to Prevent a Sports Injury
If you are an athlete or participate in workouts or sports activities regularly, you’ll probably sustain a sports injury at one point or another (if you haven’t already). The good news is, there are some things you can do to limit your risks of an injury. Here are some tips:
Use Proper Form
Whether working out or playing a game, having poor form can cause an injury. If you are unsure whether your form is correct, having a trainer can give you an accurate assessment and help you make corrections.
Don’t Skip Your Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs
Skipping your warm-ups and cool-down sessions can leave you vulnerable to an injury. Warming up helps get your body prepared for your game or workout ahead, and cooling down gets your heart rate back on track. Cool-down stretches can also help with flexibility and building strength.
When you are physically active and breaking a sweat, you can become dehydrated if you don’t take in enough fluids. Staying hydrated keeps your joints and muscles lubricated as well as keeps you energized, so keep a bottle of H2O handy during your workouts.
Take Rest Days
Taking rest days are a critical part of any athletic routine. Going for long periods of working out or performing strenuous physical activity can increase your chances of an injury. Taking rest days gives your body time to recover, prevent muscle fatigue, and improve your performance.
Dallas and Fort Worth Sports Medicine
If you’ve sustained a sports injury, seeking an experienced sports medicine doctor is critical to the success of your recovery. Methodist Sports Medicine can help when it comes to healing from an injury or preventing another injury from occurring. See the full list of services we offer or contact us today to make an appointment!