Seven of the Most Common Sports Injuries

Posted on June 5, 2017 by Core Products

By Brian Acton

Regular exercise is important to lead a balanced, healthy lifestyle. But exercise comes with risks, and whether you’re a dedicated athlete or a weekend warrior, exercise can put you at risk of injury. Whenever you suffer a sports injury, one important key to recovery is proper diagnosis and treatment.

It can help to listen to your body, know what to look for, and seek help from a doctor when injured. To help you identify injury when it happens, here are seven of the most common sports injuries.

Sprained Ankles

You’re likely familiar with the tender, painful sensation of an ankle sprain. Sprains can be caused by twisting your ankle, landing or planting your foot incorrectly, or even stumbling as you walk. Ankle sprains will usually heal after a few weeks, but they can be helped along with ice, elevation, and even ankle supports.

Shin Splints

Shin splints cause sharp pain that shoots down your shins, and commonly occurs in runners and people who increase their exercise intensity too quickly. Often, rest and cold therapy can help with recovery, but anyone experiencing long-term pain should consult a doctor. Stretching, wearing the right shoes, and gradually ramping up exercise intensity can help you avoid shin splints.

ACL Tears

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects your leg bone to your knee. Sudden changes in direction or direct hits to the side of the knee can cause a strain or tear to the ACL. ACL tears can keep you incapacitated for weeks or even months. When you tear your ACL, your knee may immediately swell up with blood, and it can feel painful or wobbly for a long time. In some cases, the injury may even require surgery.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that occurs when you strain the tendon that runs along your foot and supports your arches. It can cause heel pain and make every step painful. It’s common among middle aged and older people, but also among young athletes and anyone who is frequently on their feet. Cold therapy, rest, stretching, and shoes with proper arch support can all help recovery, which can take months or longer.

Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring injuries can occur when the muscles in your hamstring (or upper thigh) are overused or stretched too far, resulting in tears in the muscles or tendons. Sprinting, kicking, and jumping can all cause hamstring injuries, which can be severely painful. Warming up and stretching before exercise can prevent hamstring injury, and you should stop exercising if your hamstrings become too fatigued.

Recovery from a pulled hamstring can take a long time. Physical therapy and special exercises can help rebuild the muscles in your hamstring and prevent re-injury.

Lower Back Pain

It’s tricky to pinpoint the cause of lower back pain. Lower back injuries can be caused by impact to your lower back, improper form during exercise, and even household and work injuries. If you have persistent lower back pain, seeing a doctor for treatment is likely the first course of action.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is caused by repetitive motion and overuse of your arm and hand muscles, which causes tears in the elbow’s ligaments. It’s characterized by pain on the outside of your elbow, and any sport or activity that involves repetitive arm movements can be the culprit. Tennis elbow can be relieved by rest, physical therapy, and elbow supports.