Sports injuries encompass a wide range of injuries occurring in different areas of the body, resulting from strenuous activities like sports. Certain body parts are more susceptible to damage from these injuries, including the back. Below, we outline the 8 most common types of sports injuries, with the categories of runner’s knee, shoulder injury, ankle sprain, and back pain comprising over 80% of all sports injuries.
Common Sports Injuries
Runner’s knee is a prevalent sports injury that affects runners, cyclists, and swimmers, as well as individuals engaged in activities like aerobics, football, basketball, and volleyball. It occurs due to excessive stress on the knee, resulting in irritation of the tendon below the knee-cap.
Knee Ligament Injuries
Knee injuries can occur due to various factors such as direct impacts, falls, or landing on a flexed knee. These injuries are frequently observed in footballers. They primarily involve the ligaments that stabilize the knee joint, including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the medial cruciate ligament (MCL), and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
These injuries are commonly associated with activities like tennis, swimming, and volleyball. The primary factor leading to these issues is the overuse of the shoulder, leading to loosening of the rotator cuff, which comprises a group of tendons and muscles surrounding the shoulder.
Sprained ankles often occur during activities that involve jumping, running, or sudden changes of direction, like football or basketball. These movements can cause the ankle to twist and potentially damage a tendon or ligament.
Tennis elbow occurs when the tendons in the elbow degenerate as a result of frequent use of backhand strokes in tennis. This condition causes discomfort on the outer side of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow affects the inner part of the elbow, resulting from inflammation in the muscles responsible for flexing the forearm.
Shin splints are characterized by pain along the inside of the shinbone, resulting from inflammation of the surrounding muscles. These are most commonly experienced by individuals who are sedentary and abruptly intensify their workout routines.
This pertains to the strain of the adductor muscles, positioned in the upper thigh. These muscles aid in bringing the legs together and can lead to a sudden, sharp pain and swelling on the inner side of the thigh. Typically, this occurs when changing directions abruptly during running.
The hamstrings are the muscles behind your thighs. Hamstring strains most commonly occur due to inadequate warming up or excessive fatigue.
Preventing Sports Injuries
Choose the Right Gear
Invest in proper shoes and insoles, and remember to replace them regularly to reduce the risk of injury.
Consider the Terrain
Opt for softer surfaces, such as indoor tracks, to minimize the chance of injuries while exercising.
Strong Shoulders, Strong Game
Prioritize muscle strengthening through weight training before engaging in sports to protect your shoulders.
Don’t Skip the Warm-up and Cool-down
Always stretch properly before and after exercise to prevent injuries.
Listen to Your Body
If you're feeling weak or fatigued, it's crucial to take a break and avoid working out until you're in better shape.
Fully heal from an injury before resuming your sports activities to avoid long-term problems.
Treatment for Sports Injuries
One of the simplest methods for pain management involves utilizing conservative measures (such as resting the affected area and applying hot/cold packs) in conjunction with medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The addition of a neuropathic agent can be considered if pain becomes chronic.
To limit movement, alleviate pain, and expedite the healing process, various braces, such as thigh, elbow, arch, wrist, ankle, or knee braces, can be utilized depending on the injury site.
Administering intralesional injections in the affected area can offer substantial pain relief in situations where medications have been ineffective. It is recommended to complement these interventional techniques with consistent stretching and exercises to optimize outcomes.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP therapy involves the injection of platelets derived from the patient’s blood to regenerate damaged tendons or cartilage. This approach has proven effective not only in alleviating pain but also in stimulating the healing process. The patient’s blood is drawn and subjected to centrifugation for 15 minutes to separate the platelets. Subsequently, the platelet-rich plasma is injected into the injured area of the tendon or cartilage. PRP has been successfully utilized at Pro Spine & Spine for various sports injuries, including golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, shoulder injuries, and knee ligament tears.