Sports Injuries: The Top 5 Most Common
Playing sports is a fun healthy thing to do however you should still keep an eye and listen to your body to make sure it is in fit shape. Doing exercise without warm-ups and stretching can put a strain on your body and could lead to sports or other injuries.
The top five most common sports injuries are:
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Shin splints
- Shoulder dislocations
- Hamstring sprain
- Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome)
What causes these injuries and what symptoms should you look out for:
Tennis elbow happens because of overuse of the forearm muscles and from activities that can put a strain on the elbow hence the name tennis elbow.
If you start to feel any pain when bending, twisting or lifting your arm you should rest the arm and if the pain persists consult your GP or contact a physiotherapist.
Shin splints occur when there is continuous activity putting stress on the legs such as when running, jogging or other exercises with a lot of leg movement. It can also occur after not exercising for a long time and when jumping on hard surfaces.
Some symptoms of shin splints are; pain or tenderness along the lower leg as well as mild swelling, pain that develops during exercise and numbness or weakness in the feet.
These can happen a lot from contact sports such as football, rugby and hockey or caused by another way of having direct contact with the shoulder and a hard surface.
A dislocation of the shoulder will be easily noticeable due to the shoulder being out of its normal place. There would also be a lot of pain when moving the shoulder, swelling bruising or muscle spasms
Hamstring injuries happen when muscles in the leg are stretched too far. Jumping, sprinting or lunging is a common cause of a hamstring injury
Symptoms of hamstring sprain include but not limited to pain and tenderness in the back of the thigh, pain when moving the leg or in severe cases swollen, bruised and lost strength in the back of the leg.
Runner’s knee can be several different injuries that affect the knee from overuse such as running, jogging, sprinting or from a direct hit to the knee such as in a contact sports accident.
Symptoms of a runner’s knee can include intense pain in the knee cap when moving or bending it or if the pain gets worse while walking down hills or staircases. The knee may also create a popping sound or become swollen.
How to treat these injuries:
- Take pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (following the dosage guidance on the instructions)
- Rest the injured area and avoid doing any strenuous activity that involves it such as running or standing for long periods for an injured knee, shin splints or hamstring.
- Putting a cold compress on the injury such as an ice pack will help to soothe the pain and bring down the swelling
- Support the injured area with help from bandages, Kinesio tape or sleeves this will help to prevent pain and to make everyday activities easier.
- The injured area should also be elevated when sitting, lying down or sleeping this can be done by using a pillow or folded towels.
- Doing stretching and strengthening exercises will help to strengthen your muscles and to improve on the injury and enhance recovery time (contact us to find out more)