What are the Most Common Sports Injuries?
Sports injuries are commonly caused due to direct impact, overuse or the use of force that is greater than the body can structurally bear. Sports injuries are of 2 kinds: acute and chronic (overuse). When an injury occurs suddenly, such as a sprained ankle caused by foot twisting, it is known as an acute sports injury.
Chronic/ Overuse injuries are generally caused by repetitive use of muscles and joints. The wrong technique or structural irregularities or untreated injuries can also contribute to overuse injuries. For example, an exam of an ankle sprain may reveal a bone fracture. Medical examination by a Sports Medicine doctor before starting your season is very important to avoid any kind of unexpected injuries. Periodic examination by a Sports Medicine doctor can enhance your performance while reducing the chances of recurrent injuries.
Some of the common sports injuries may include:
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the bone of the leg to the knee. Suddenly stopping, changing directions or big impact on the side of the knee can cause an ACL tear. A completely torn ligament requires surgery.
Hip Flexor Strain:
A group of muscles that help with the upward movement of the knee is hip flexor muscles. When these muscles are torn or stretched too far, it can cause injury. This can occur due to muscle weakness, no warm up, stiff muscles or a fall. This injury is commonly seen in sports like football, soccer, and hockey.
The hamstring muscle is located on the back of the thigh. Poor stretching techniques can be the cause of a hamstring strain/ tear. An athlete with a hamstring tear usually experiences bruising in the back of the knee. Rest and icing are the early treatment methods for a hamstring strain. However, if the pain persists more than 2 weeks, you should go for physical therapy to promote healing of the pulled muscle.
The inner thigh muscles are called the groin. These muscles help in pulling the legs together. Sports that require side-to-side motion like hockey, football and baseball, have high chances of groin pulls. This injury can lead to bruising on the inside of the thigh. It can take 1-2 weeks to heal with rest, ice and compression. If any swelling occurs near the groin injury, make sure to get checked by a Sports Medicine doctor.
People with shin splints usually complain of pain in the lower leg bone (tibia). Shin splints are most commonly seen in athletes who are runners or participate in sports with a lot of running, such as football. Shin splints are best managed/ treated with rest, icing and slowly increasing running activities. Wearing shoes with good arch support may also reduce pain in the leg and improve recovery.
Shoulder injuries like dislocations, strains and sprains make up almost 20% of all sports injuries. Shoulder injuries are caused by overexertion/ overuse. Sports that involve the overhead movement of hands like tennis, swimming, basketball, badminton and volleyball are the most common offenders. Shoulder injuries can be prevented by doing strength-building exercises. One of the most common overuse injuries of the shoulder is Rotator cuff injury, very common in Badminton and Tennis.
Around 55% of all sports injuries are related to knees. Patellofemoral syndrome or knee injury is caused due to the repeated movement of the kneecap against the leg bone. This movement damages the kneecap and causes pain. Basketball, cycling, football, volleyball, gymnastic and running are the most common sports where it occurs. It can take up to 4-6 weeks for this injury to heal. Wearing the right shoes may help reduce the chances of a knee injury.
Elbow injuries are around 7% of all sports injuries. Tennis elbow or epicondylitis is caused due to repetitive use of the elbow. Repetitive movement creates tiny tears in the ligaments of the elbow. It causes pain on the inside or outside of the elbow. In minor injuries, rest, ice and medicines may help improve the condition. In severe cases, you should visit a doctor and avoid the game till the pain subsides and must under go proper rehabilitation program.
Sciatica causes lower-back pain that may radiate to the legs. It is usually seen in athletes who participate in running, cycling, golf, baseball and tennis. Sciatica is commonly caused by inadequate stretching and warm up. Sciatica and bulging discs need quick medical care from a doctor. However back spasms can be treated with rest, ice and pain medication.
What is the Immediate or FIRST AID treatment for sprains, strains and joint injuries?
Immediate treatment or First Aid for sprains, strains and joint injuries, may include:
PRICE method: It is a traditional method for any sports injury management
P: Protection (protect the injury from further damage; Immobilise / avoid movement)
R: Rest- provide rest to the injured part.
I: Ice- pack of crushed ice helps to reduce the pain and swelling
C: Compression- Wrapping the injured part with a compression bandage helps in reducing the swelling.
E: Elevation- Elevate the injured part to reduce the swelling in the injured part
If swelling and pain does not reduce, you must consult a doctor for further evaluation and investigation.
Avoid doing the following things:
No Heat: As heat may increase the bleeding and swelling in the initial 72 hours.
No Alcohol: alcohol can increase bleeding and swelling
No Massage: Massage can increase the swelling also delay healing
No Weight Bearing: Avoid weight bearing on the injured side
If you or your loved one has encountered a sports injury and you are looking for a medical facility which deals exclusively with sports-related conditions, then your search ends here. At RxDx SportsMed (Sports Clinic) we have put together a complete medical team that specializes in sports injuries. A UK-trained Sports Physician and a renowned Orthopedic Surgeon trained from Germany are the doctors and they are ably supported by physiotherapists, sports psychologists and sports nutritionists. Also, having Bengaluru’s first dedicated foot Surgeon under the same roof is an added advantage. The key to prompt treatment and faster recovery is by having a multidisciplinary team working together; a team that understands sports and fitness.
The key services provided at RxDx SportsMed are:
- Pre-participation Screening
- Sports Physician Consultation
- Sports Nutrition Consultation
- Sports Physio Consultation
- 2 D Foot Scan
- Body Composition Analysis
- Customized Foot Orthotics/ Insoles
- Gait Analysis
- Game Ready
- Corrective Exercises
- Diagnostic Services
- First Responder Training
- Injury Prevention
- Mind Coach Consultation
- MRI Second Opinion
- Onsite Sports Physio
- Pain Management
- Performance Enhancement in Sports
- Platelet-rich-Plasma (PRP) Therapy
- Preventive Strength Conditioning (PSC)
- Sports Injury Management
- Sports-Specific Rehabilitation
- Tournament Ambulance Service
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