Sports injuries are typically caused by one of two things - overuse or trauma.
An overuse injury occurs if your body is pushed beyond its current level of conditioning or physical limits. It can also occur due to training errors or poor technique. A traumatic injury is common in football, boxing and other full-contact sports.
With sports injuries, some are more common than others. Learn about the top five most common sports injuries and how to prevent them:
Sprained Ankle, Foot or Knee
A sprain occurs when ligaments turn the wrong way. The most frequent sprains seen during sports are in the ankle, foot and knee.
Sprains are often painful and may require immobilization to prevent further damage. You can prevent sprains by doing pre-workout warm-ups and stretches. It is also important to practice the right technique for the sport you play.
“The best way to avoid a sprain injury is to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. Muscles around our ligaments act as dynamic stabilizers to keep the ligaments in a favorable environment to avoid injury. Weakness involving muscles and tendons around ligaments leaves them prone to injury including sprains,” explains Dr. Ali Sobh, orthopedic surgeon at Beaumont’s Sports and Orthopedic Injury Clinic in Royal Oak.
Hand, Wrist, Elbow or Shoulder Injuries
Hand, wrist and arm injuries are extremely common if you play golf, basketball, tennis or other similar sports. Pre-workout warm-ups and stretching only take a few minutes and can make a huge difference in preventing injuries.
The rotator cuff is another very common place to experience an injury and can be much more serious than a hand or wrist injury. This injury is usually the result of repeated overhead movements and can cause soreness, inflammation or tearing.
A fall can happen in just about any sport – even being outside in bad weather can be the perfect recipe for taking a bad fall.
“Being aware of your surroundings and understanding weather conditions is one of the best ways to avoid falls. Take caution while out and about during the winter season and make sure to take the necessary precautions before playing sports or engaging in other physical activities,” says, Dr. Sobh.
While it’s not always possible to prevent falls, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent serious injury from one. These steps include:
- Warm-up properly
- Cross-train to help prevent an injury
- Ensure the fields and courts are in good condition
- Rest if an injury occurs
- Use high-quality equipment
- Rest when possible
Tendonitis is another common sports injury that is caused by inflammation. It can impact your finger, thigh, wrist, elbow and other body parts.
To prevent tendonitis, avoid activities that put excess stress on your tendons and mix up your activities. Take steps to improve your technique and stretch before and after any activity.
Dislocations occur when two bones that come together to form a joint become separated. Dislocations are usually seen in high-impact sports like football. To help prevent dislocations, stretch often, use the right safety gear, and follow the necessary steps to avoid any serious falls.
If you experience a sports or orthopedic injury, it’s important to have it checked out right away so your doctor can recommend the best treatment and course of recovery.