If you lead an active life that includes a lot of outdoor activities such as a cycling, running, or play sports (professionally or on an amateur basis), you are likely to face some form of injury sooner or later. While the severity and specific injury can vary, the fact remains that sports injuries are quite common. Some sports activities, especially those with full contact, are innately hazardous and can easily lead to injuries. The good news is that many injuries are preventable and can be avoided by properly warming up, cooling down, and using protective gear such as helmets and padding.
The most common sports injuries include:
- Knee injuries (including ACL, meniscal tears, and kneecap injuries)
- Groin pull
- Tendonitis or rupture of the Achilles’ tendon
- Hamstring strains
- Shin splints
- Elbow injuries such as tennis elbow
- Shoulder injuries, like torn rotator cuffs
- Ankle injuries (sprains and fractures)
By far, the most common sports injuries that occur are sprains, strains, and tears. These kinds of injuries can vary in severity. A sprain, for instance, happens when a band of strong connective tissue, known as a ligament, that connects bone to bone is overextend and stretched. In severe cases, the ligament can partially or completely tear.
The best way to prevent sprains and strains is to warm up prior to strenuous activity. This allows the tissues to stretch more efficiently as well as providing additional blood supply to critical areas. In addition to stretching, players should make sure to regularly strengthen vulnerable areas like calves, ankles, shoulders and knees with targeted exercise. Bear in mind that too much repetition can also lead to injuries from overuse.
Knee injuries are another common sports injury. The knee is a complex structure, as well as being the largest joint of the body. That may explain why over five million people see orthopedic surgeons for knee related traumatic injuries every year.
Besides using the appropriate protective gear, warming up and cooling down, and stretching, the best way to prevent knee injuries is not to play when you are already injured. Many sports enthusiasts and professional push themselves much further than they should, turning minor injuries into major ones in the process. Dislocations and fractures are also extremely common forms of sports injury. In many cases, protective gear like shin guards, padding and other gear can protect players from fractures and dislocations.
If you do get injured, remember to use the R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to help speed healing and prevent further damage. You should also see a qualified orthopedic physician who specializes in sports medicine. They have the additional training and expertise to evaluate and properly treat sports injuries that might otherwise keep you on the sidelines.
If you, or a loved one needs treatment for a sports related injury, or to learn more about how we are changing the face of orthopedic medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, please contact Orthopaedic Associates at (440) 892-1440 to schedule a personalized appointment with one of our highly trained Orthopaedic Physicians. Every age, every bone, Orthopedic Associates.