What is Sports Injuries
Sports injuries are common not only among professional competitive athletes, but among non-professional athletes as well. Sports injuries can occur from a myriad of causes, and can vary from person to person.
Sports injuries can be caused by anything ranging from not properly stretching prior to and post workout or activity, overuse, or accident during your sport or activity.
Sprains and strains are by far the most common sports injuries, and according to WebMd.com, the most common sports injury that occurs is ankle sprain. Ankle sprains are painful, but pain can often be alleviated using conservative methods. The most important part of healing an ankle sprain is resting it. Most ankle sprains will swell, and so application of cold therapy is also recommended. It is important to always put a layer of fabric between the ice pack and your skin and to never leave ice on for more than fifteen minutes at a time. Elevation can also help reduce swelling and pain due to an ankle sprain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin can alleviate pain and make it easier to go about your daily activities. Once the ankle has begun to heal, it is important to become mobile as soon as possible to prevent long-term problems that may arise.
Knee injuries are also fairly common in sports injuries, and an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL tear is seen frequently. An ACL tear is particularly debilitating, as the ACL is the ligament which connects the leg bone to the knee. The ACL is prone to tears when excessive force or strain is placed upon the knee, such as when a football or basketball player makes a “fast cut” and then moves in the opposite direction. This will place a high amount of force onto the ACL, and should the individual hear or feel a pop, it is indicative of an ACL tear, and should be seen by a physician as soon as possible.
When an ACL tears, surgery is often the only option to restore the patient back to their original physical condition, however, the physician may want to try a conservative approach first. In these cases, the RICE acronym is often recommended – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Once the patient has sufficiently rested the injured knee, the physician may recommend bracing the knee to offer stability and support while it continues to heal. A physician may also recommend physical therapy to help the knee improve. The patient may require months of physical therapy to get back to their prior level of athleticism. The final option, of course, is surgery to repair the torn ligament. Post surgery, additional physical therapy may be indicated to help strengthen the weak ligament and surrounding structures.
Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are also common sports injuries. Caused by repetitive overuse and stress to the muscles and tendons in the arm, golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are fairly similar in nature. This most distinct difference is that golfer’s elbow affects the inside of your elbow and arm, and tennis elbow affects the outside. Both golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow can be treated conservatively to begin with. Resting and avoiding the activities that caused the condition is recommended. Additionally, cold packs can be applied to the area; be sure to never leave cold therapy on for more than 15-20 minutes at a time, and to always be sure to place a layer of fabric between the cold pack and your skin to avoid painful injury. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin can help alleviate pain along with rest and ice. A physician may also recommend physical therapy and specific exercises to strengthen and properly stretch the ligaments and surrounding muscles. Once the symptoms have subsided, it is important to concentrate on correct form when going back to the activities that first caused the condition to arise.