Sports injuries occur when playing indoor or outdoor sports or while exercising. Sports injuries can result from accidents, inadequate training, improper use of protective devices, or insufficient stretching or warm-up exercises. The most common sports injuries are sprains and strains, fractures, and dislocations.
The most common treatment recommended for injury is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE).
- Rest: Avoid activities that may cause injury
- Ice: Ice packs can be applied to the injured area which will help to diminish swelling and pain. Ice should be applied over a towel to the affected area for 15-20 minutes four times a day for several days. Never place ice directly over the skin
- Compression: Compression of the injured area helps to reduce swelling. Elastic wraps, air casts, and splints can accomplish this
- Elevation: Elevate the injured part above heart level to reduce swelling and pain.
Some of the measures that are followed to prevent sports related injuries include:
- Follow an exercise program to strengthen the muscles
- Gradually increase your exercise level and avoid overdoing the exercise
- Ensure that you wear properly-fitted protective gear such as elbow guards, eye gear, facemasks, mouthguards, and pads, comfortable clothes, and athletic shoes before playing any sports activity which will help to reduce the chances of injury
- Make sure that you follow warm up and cool down exercises before and after sports activity. Exercises will help to stretch the muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce soft tissue injuries
- Avoid exercising immediately after eating a large meal
- Maintain a healthy diet which will nourish the muscles
- Avoid playing when you are injured or tired. Take a break for sometime after playing
- Learn all the rules of the game you are participating in
- Ensure that you are physically fit to play the sport
Some of the common sports injuries include:
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is major stabilizing ligament in the knee which may tear with over use of knee for playing sports. The ACL has poor ability to heal and may cause instability. Other common sports injuries in knee are cartilage damage and meniscal tear. Knee injuries of sports may require surgical intervention that can be performed using open surgical or minimally invasive technique. Your surgeon will recommend you for physical therapy to strengthen your muscles, improve elasticity and improve the movements of the bones and joints.
Severe pain in shoulders while playing your favorite sports such as tennis, basketball and gymnastics may be because of torn ligament in shoulder or shoulder dislocation. These may be caused by overuse of shoulder while playing sports. Simple pain or acute injuries may be treated with conservative treatment and chronic injuries may require surgical treatment.
Sports Medicine Topics
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AC Joint Injuries
ACL Injury Prevention
Ankle Sprains: How to Speed Your Recovery
AOSSM Youth Baseball and Softball Injuries
Articular Cartilage Injuries
Exercise for Bone Health
Exercise for the Mature Athlete
Flexibility and Stretching
Hand and Wrist Injury
Helmet Use in Snow Sports
Meniscal Tears in Athletes
Osteoarthritis and Exercise
Return to Play after Injuries
Running and Jogging Injuries
Skiing and Snowboard Injuries
Swimming Warm-up Stretches
The Injured ACL
Traumatic Shoulder Dislocation
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Click on the topics below to find out more from the orthopaedic connection website of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.