You can’t really avoid injuries when playing sports. But these tips will help you recognize and prevent 7 common types of sports injuries.
Sports and recreational exercise are common ways to stay in shape, and for the most part, they’re good for the body.
Working your muscles and cardiovascular system can help you reduce stress, stay in shape, and add years to your life.
But even if you’re careful, there’s a chance you could experience one of the numerous types of sports injuries.
Learning to recognize and treat these injuries proactively could spare you from significant pain — and keep you in good enough shape to keep playing sports for decades to come.
The Most Common Types Of Sports Injuries
These are some of the most common types of injuries you’ll see when playing sports:
1. Contact And Fall Injuries
Many basic injuries unfold after tripping and hitting the ground or colliding with another player on the field.
If you’ve ever played sports for more than a few minutes, you’ve likely suffered from scraped elbows, skinned knees, and various bumps and bruises. These are usually mild and fade with time.
But occasionally, you’ll deal with something more severe, like a chipped or lost tooth. For dental injuries, it’s imperative to get restorative dental work as soon as possible to avoid further complications.
2. Sore And Strained Muscles
It’s also common for people to experience sore and/or strained muscles, especially if they’re pushing themselves past their usual limits.
In many cases, this is simply a result of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which happens to everyone who exercises intensely.
In other cases, this is the result of overworking a muscle group or using a bad form.
Anyway, a strained muscle should be treated with the RICE approach (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).
Sprains range from mild to severe and can be quite painful. Most commonly in the ankle, a sprain occurs when a ligament is torn.
Again, the treatment here is the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).
Depending on the severity of the injury, you may also need a medical device to assist you with stability, or something like crutches to help you move normally.
4. Shin Splints
“Shin splints” refers to pain along the tibia (or shin bone), the front bone of your lower leg.
They occur most frequently in runners and dancers who try to do too much, too fast, and can affect muscles, tendons, and bone tissue all at once.
Though complicated in nature, most shin splints cases can be addressed with RICE; within a few weeks, the pain should begin to ebb.
5. Joint Soreness
Joints are complicated bodily systems. Over time, your elbows, shoulders, knees, and other joints can suffer from the stress of sporting and working out.
Complications like tennis elbow can result in pain and render you practically unable to function.
In mild cases, RICE may be sufficient to help you recover over the course of a few weeks. In more severe cases, you may need the help of physical therapy and/or surgery to restore functionality.
6. Tendon Ruptures
Nobody likes to think about tendon ruptures, but they can happen — especially in high-intensity sports.
The Achilles tendon is the most common tendon to experience rupturing, due to its vulnerable position, but any tendon can tear if subjected to undue stress.
In most cases, surgery and physical therapy are necessary to recover from a tendon rupture.
Bone fractures typically occur after heavy contact — either colliding with a person or object or falling in a specific way.
They can be very painful, but in most cases offer a straightforward recovery.
Depending on the injury, surgery may be necessary. Otherwise, an extended period of rest and isolation, followed by physical therapy exercises, can help you improve.
Simple Steps To Prevention
Fortunately, most of these types of sports injuries can be prevented, long before they develop, with these basic steps:
1. Wear The Right Protective Gear
Mouthguards are ridiculously cheap, and they can prevent most types of dental injuries while playing sports.
Helmets, pads, and other gear are similarly convenient and protective. Always wear the right gear to keep yourself safe.
2. Warm Up And Cool Down
Before engaging in any intense exercise, it’s important to warm up and cool down properly — including stretching your body after an intense workout. Otherwise, you’ll be far more likely to be injured.
3. Use Proper Form
Bad form when lifting, running, or competing in sports will almost always lead to injury if repeated.
Prevent the injuries you can and treat the ones you can’t. The more cautious you are, and the better you treat your own body, the better your results will be.
It may be frustrating to have to wear protective equipment or stop exercising altogether during recovery, but the alternative is much worse.
Now you should know how to prevent and treat most types of sports injuries. Remember, prevention is better than cure.
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