Common Types of Sports Injuries and Treatments
Participating in sports is fun, but players may encounter various injuries during training or a game. Some injuries are more common in specific sports than others, and different sports also require athletes to wear protective gear to lessen the risk of injury. Understanding the common types of sports injuries and treatments will make caring for your athletic health easier.
Common Sports Injuries
Depending on the sport you play, some injuries may be more common than others. For example, athletes playing high-impact sports are more likely to experience fractures than those who don’t. Some of the most notable sports-related injuries include:
These are by no means all the injuries you may encounter while playing sports, but they’re among the most common types you should know about. By understanding these injuries, you can also discover the best ways to treat them or prevent them altogether.
Many athletes experience sprains due to overstretching their ligaments. Of the various types of sprains you may encounter during your athletic career, ankle sprains are the most common.
Stains are another common injury that many athletes experience, occurring when one overstretches, overextends, or misuses one of their muscles. They can also happen if the muscle moves in a way it shouldn’t. Luckily, with some rest and heat, this type of injury heals quickly.
It’s also essential that you work closely with your coach or trainer to learn the proper form for the sport in which you participate.
Broken bones are painful, and if left untreated, they could heal incorrectly, which will lead to additional problems down the line. If you experience intense pain or swelling or have trouble moving one of your limbs after a collision, then you may have a fracture. Remember, treating this is not something to wait on; being proactive in caring for your body is always best.
Concussions aren’t the most common type of injury an athlete may experience, but you should still know the signs of this severe injury. Some symptoms include confusion, drowsiness, or headache; however, a concussion can also cause vomiting or loss of consciousness in serious cases. Never hesitate to speak up if you experience these signs, since you may need urgent medical care.
Dehydration isn’t an injury per se, but it can cause bodily harm. So remember to drink enough water before, during, and after workouts. And if you sweat a lot, you’ll also want to replenish your electrolytes to keep your body properly fueled.
Treating Sports Injuries
The way you treat an injury often depends on the type, but many sports experts recommend following the RICE method:
- Rest: Rest the muscle so that it has time to heal.
- Ice: Apply ice to the area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
- Compression: Securely wrap the injured body part.
- Elevation: Elevate the injured limb above your heart.
Follow these steps immediately after the injury occurs to allow your body adequate time to recover while preventing further damage to the area. If you still notice excessive pain or swelling three days after encountering the injury, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Keep in mind that this is specifically for nonserious damage. In the event that you or your trainer believe an injury is severe, then you should see a doctor right away.
When To Apply Heat
Avoid using heat on the area for the first two to three days after injuring yourself. Adding heat will increase blood flow to the site, and most experts don’t recommend this for a new injury. Heat typically alleviates stiffness or soreness when swelling isn’t present. When in doubt, reach out to a sports medicine professional for the best treatment.
When To See a Specialist
Suffering from a sports injury doesn’t always mean you need to see a doctor, but you may need care from a specialist if things get serious. Be on the lookout for:
- Numbness or tingling
- Inability to put pressure on the area
- Pain that doesn’t fade or that keeps returning
- Struggling or failing to move the area
These are all signals from your body that something is wrong. Sometimes, muscle or bone injuries require surgery or other orthopedic care to completely heal. A sports medicine doctor will know what to look for and be able to recommend a treatment plan that best aligns with your athletic lifestyle. Recovery isn’t always speedy, but with the right healing plan, you’ll be on the mend in no time.
Preventing Sports Injuries
Knowing how to prevent sports injuries is just as important as knowing how to treat them. Two of the best ways to avoid bodily damage are wearing your protective gear and preparing your body.
Wear Protective Gear
Almost all sports require athletes to wear protective gear to protect their bodies from harm. For instance, boxers often wear mouthguards to protect their entire mouths during competition, since a blow to the face could damage their teeth.
Padding and guards are other common forms of protective gear that athletes wear to lessen the risk of severe injury. Keep in mind that this gear needs to fit properly, so evaluate the sizing chart before purchasing.
Have the Right Footwear
Make sure you have the appropriate shoes for the sport in which you participate. This will protect your feet and ankles as you run across the field. Additionally, you should replace your shoes after appropriate amounts of time; as the cushioning wears down, your feet will have less support.
Prepare Your Body
Finally, remember to perform warm-up and cooldown exercises, whether you’re practicing or competing. This gradually prepares your muscles for movement and allows your heart rate to increase or decrease at a healthy pace. If you don’t know what would be best, reach out to a health-care professional.
ProAm Sports Medicine is a sports medicine and orthopedic center that prioritize athletes’ physical and mental well-being. Our skilled professionals can get you back on your feet thanks to our wide range of treatments. They’ll focus on your athletic health so that you can continue competing.