There’s always a certain amount of risk for sports-related injuries when playing sports. Contact or collision sports have higher injury rates, such as soccer, baseball, basketball and football. Whether you’re a seasoned and trained athlete or weekend warrior, there’s always a chance of incurring a sports injury.
Because injuries are so common among athletes of all levels, it’s important to learn about the different types of injuries and how you can recover from them.
Common sports injuries
Sports injuries involving the lower body are frequently knee injuries. Patellofemoral syndrome is often caused by a slip or fall onto the knees. There’s pain, swelling and an imbalance of the knee muscle in its groove. Strengthening exercises and stretching can help the muscles correct themselves. In addition to strengthening exercises, a physical therapist may use bracing techniques or knee taping for this injury.
A blow to the head can cause a concussion; it’s a serious injury and should not be taken lightly. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, confusion, vomiting and slurred speech. Any athlete who incurs a concussion should seek immediate medical attention. Treatment with a physical therapist can help with the headaches and dizziness associated with a concussion.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a major ligament in the knee. ACL strain or tear can be caused when playing sports due to a sudden change in directions or coming to a sudden stop. There’s swelling and instability in movement with an ACL tear. Aggressive physical therapy can assist with recovery.
Hip flexor strain
The hip flexor muscles are located in the upper front thigh. Sprinting, running inclines and sudden movement can cause a hip flexor strain; there may be bruising in the thigh area along with inflammation and pain. Stretching and range-of-motion exercises with a physical therapist assist with recovery.
With shin splints, there’s typically pain in the lower leg bone — the tibia. It’s common with runners. Rest and ice can ease the pain, and a good pair of shoes with arch support can help.
Sciatica is back pain that extends to the back of the leg. It’s often seen in cyclists and athletes who perform a lot of trunk rotation in swing sports like tennis and golf. The back pain may be caused by a pinched nerve or bulging disc. A physical therapist can help alleviate sciatica symptoms.
Shoulder injuries in sports range from dislocations and misalignments to strains and sprains of shoulder muscles and ligaments. The shoulder is a weak joint and is prone to injuries during sports activities. Rest and icing should help with pain and swelling.
Tennis or golf elbow
This condition is known as an overuse sports injury; repetitive actions inflame the forearm and wrist. Icing and rest generally help, but stretching techniques and strengthening exercises with a physical therapist help even more.
Also known as groin strain, the groin muscles can get strained with quick side-to-side movements when engaging in sports. Stretching and range-of-motion exercises can help with recovery.
The hamstring muscle is located in the back of the thigh. Lack of stretching can cause this muscle to be pulled. If this condition persists more than two weeks, physical therapy can help to promote healing of the pulled muscle.
Are you an athlete who’s been injured? Visit Continuum Wellness for treatment
Whether you’re a seasoned professional, a dedicated amateur or a new hobbyist, our physical therapists can help you recover from your injuries so you can get back to doing what you love. At Continuum Wellness, we always carefully examine our patients to identify their unique needs and develop personalized treatments. Many of our treatments for sports injuries include:
- Gentle therapeutic exercises and stretches
- Posture guidance
- Joint mobilization
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Patient education and more