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Top 10 Sports Injuries

The Top 10 Sports Injuries and How to Treat Them

Because sports are so physical, they can often be quite dangerous. The human body is susceptible to different kinds of damage, especially in certain areas. By learning more about which injuries are common, you can protect your body from harm and make sure your performance on the field isn't hindered.  

10. Achilles Tendinitis

The achilles tendon sits at the back of the ankle and helps your foot flex and contract. When this area is overused, it can cause pain and swelling. Without treatment, this pain can worsen into a chronic injury that makes it difficult to run or manuveur. It's a very common problem in runners. 

To prevent achilles tendinitis, it is essential to strengthen and stretch the calf before working out. If you already have this injury, get plenty of rest, use ice and compression therapy, and elevate your leg to promote blood flow to the area.

9. Concussions

Anytime you experience a blow to the head, you could be at risk for a concussion. Concussions happen when the brain is injured, resulting in headaches, loss of memory, blurry vision, problems concentrating, nausea, and dizziness. Overall, this type of injury is most common in contact sports like football, hockey, boxing, or soccer.

It can be hard to prevent a concussion if you play contact sports, but wearing a helmet can lessen your risk. If you have a concussion, the best way to treat it is to get plenty of rest. You will have to avoid playing sports until you stop experiencing concussion symptoms so your brain has time to heal.

8. Hip Flexor Strains

Straining your groin can happen for a number of reasons, including changing direction suddenly or overextending your legs. It's a common injury in fast-paced sports like hockey, soccer, football, or basketball. Typically, it causes pain and swelling in the area, as well as a noticeable bruise.

The best way to prevent a hip flexor strain is to stretch before exercising. Additionally, it's important not to push yourself too hard until you are warmed up. If you do develop a strain, be sure to get plenty of rest, use ice and compression, and elevate the affected area. 

7. Shin Splints

Sometimes, the muscles that surround the inner part of the shinbone can become inflamed, causing pain and discomfort. This is known as shin splints and can be caused by jumping into a workout too fast or wearing worn out shoes when running. 

The treatment for shin splints involves stretching and taking anti-inflammatory medication to bring down swelling. Preventing shin splints is best done by wearing supportive shoes as well as stretching before every workout.

6. Lower Back Pain or Sciatica

Low back pain can stem from a number of different problems, including muscle spasms, bulging discs, or pressure on the sciatic nerve. In athletes, however, the most common cause is a sprain or strain that occurs because of improper stretching. Those most at risk for these problems include bicyclists, tennis players, runners, golfers, and baseball players.

Stretching and warming up thoroughly before working out is the best way to stop lower back pay. Since the causes of lower back pain are so varied, treatment also vary. However, one good method for nearly every type of back pain is to rest, use ice and compression, and elevate the affected area.

5. Pulled Muscle/Hamstring Strain

Any time you forget to warm up before exercising, you put yourself at risk for a pulled muscle. Additionally, working out too much or being too inflexible are also major causes. Typically, muscle strains happen in the hamstrings and calves. If you have this injury, you'll notice pain and bruising. 

Keep yourself from suffering this problem by always stretching before and after you work out as well as giving your body time to rest. To treat this injury, combine ice and compression therapy with rest and utilize gentle stretching.

4. Tennis or Golf Elbow

There's a reason it's called tennis elbow – it's because tennis players are particularly vulnerable to this disorder. Because of the repetitive motions used in golf and tennis, the tendons in the elbow begin to wear down, causing pain on the outside of the elbow. This type of injury actually accounts for seven percent of sports injuries

Strengthening your wrists and forearms is a great way to prevent these types of injuries. Additionally, be sure to use the proper swing techniques to avoid putting more strain on your elbow. If you do develop tennis elbow, get plenty of rest, use ice and compression therapy, and take anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce swelling.

3. Ankle Sprain

Because sports like hockey, soccer, volleyball, and basketball involve a lot of running, jumping, and turning quickly, they often lead to ankle sprains. This involves tearing a ligament or tendon and can be diagnosed by an x-ray.

Avoid ankle sprains by keeping your ankles strong through strengthening exercises and ankle braces. If you do develop a sprain, rest your ankle, use ice and compression therapy, and elevate the region to reduce swelling. 

2. Shoulder Injury

Shoulder injuries make up about 20 percent of all sports injuries. They can include a number of different problems, including strains, dislocations, and sprains. Swimmers, tennis players, weight lifters, baseball players and volleyball players commonly experience these problems. Usually, problems develop because of overuse, causing stiffness, pain, and weakness. 

Shoulder injuries often occur because the muscles are too weak, so it's important to strengthen them through weight training. For injuries that do arise, treat them with rest, ice and compression therapy, and anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce swelling.

1. Runner’s Knee/Patellar Tendonitis

As the most common injury, nearly 55 percent of injured athletes have this problem. Runner's knee is a wide category that can include a number of problems such as torn cartilage or ligaments, kneecap problems, or arthritis. Nearly anyone who participates in a high-impact sport, such as football, step aerobics, basketball, and volleyball is at risk for these issues.

In order to keep your knees in good shape, be sure to wear supportive shoes and try to exercise on a soft surface rather than hard concrete. Additionally, take rest days to prevent overuse and keep your quads strong. Treating runner's knee involves resting and taking anti-inflammatory medications.

If you've experienced a sports injury and need treatment, don't hesitate to contact the Integrative Pain Institute at 972-290-1507. Our doctors can work with you to develop a treatment plan that will maximize your recovery and get you back on the field in no time.


Neil Verma, MD Chief Medical Officer - *The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinions of the author. Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Should you need medical advice, see your physician.

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