Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a regular exerciser, or a sports-league star, you’re at risk of injury if you play sports.
Here are some of the most common sports injuries and what you should do if you get hurt.
Sprains are common even for people who don’t play sports. Step off a curb the wrong way, get in a fender bender, or fall on your wrist, and you’re likely to experience the discomfort of a sprain.
But, if you’re running, jumping, or throwing things for fun, you’re much more likely to sprain a ligament. Ligaments hold your bones together at your joints. When you overstretch one, or worse, tear one, the result is a sprain.
The immediate treatment is the classic RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Depending on the severity of the sprain, you may need to visit the emergency room or the capable team at Ani Medical Group.
Strains are similar to sprains, except that a strain affects a muscle or tendon instead of a ligament. Most people, athletes or not, have experienced a strain at some point or another.
As with a sprain, the best thing to do with a strain is to rest, apply ice, compress the injured area, and elevate it. If the pain doesn’t ease with that treatment within a few hours, seek medical attention.
3. Knee injuries
Your knees are two of the most mobile joints in your body, and they’re also among the most commonly injured. Regardless of age, you’re susceptible to knee injury.
Your knee has many tendons and ligaments, along with soft tissue and fluids that keep it bending and moving. So that means plenty of opportunities for injury.
Some common knee injuries include:
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears
- Meniscus tears
- Loose piece of cartilage or bone
- Dislocated knee cap
If you play a sport that involves jumping, making quick turns, or running, you should watch for signs of knee injury.
If you hear popping or crunching noises or your knee is swollen, stiff, weak, or unstable, stop what you’re doing and book an appointment with our medical specialists at Ani Medical Group.
Fractures and broken bones are common sports injuries. There are plenty of ways to fall when you’re playing just about any sport, not to mention all the other ways you could potentially fracture a bone.
A fracture may not be obvious at first, but if something feels off, or you experience swelling or pain, or you have any other reason to suspect that you may have a fracture, seek medical care.
Your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body, and because of that amazing range of motion, it’s also the easiest to dislocate. However, other joints can be dislocated as well.
In the movies, dislocated shoulders, knees, and hips get fixed with a quick yank. In real life, that’s extremely inadvisable. If you’ve dislocated a joint, get to a medical facility so that a properly trained professional can help you without doing more damage.
Prevention of sports injuries
Some of the most common sports injuries can be prevented by following a few simple guidelines.
- A great many injuries can be prevented by properly warming up and stretching your muscles before you play to get them ready to move. This helps them become more flexible and less likely to overstretch or tear.
- Make sure that you use the right protective gear as well, and that it’s in good condition. Safety equipment is designed to protect you from injury.
- Double-check your form and technique. Regardless of how long you’ve participated in any given activity, it’s a good idea to periodically review your moves.
If you’ve sustained a sports injury or you’re interested in learning more about how to protect yourself, book an appointment at Ani Medical Group at our Hazlet or Old Bridge office in New Jersey.
Our staff understands the risks associated with playing sports and can help you learn prevention techniques so you can keep playing!