Sports injuries are commonplace regardless of whether you are a professional athlete or only play sports recreationally on the weekends. Although many minor injuries can be treated successfully with self-care techniques, others require medical treatment in order to heal properly. You can find out more here about the most common sports injuries and how a sports medicine doctor can help get you back to your sport sooner, if you’ve been injured.
A sports injury can occur during a game, exercise, or athletic activity. It can cause damage to any part of the body, but most frequently affects bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. There are many causes of sports injuries, but the most common causes are accidents on the field, direct trauma, repetitive stress, and not warming up or stretching properly before exercise. If you have a sports injury, it can make you more vulnerable to re-injury and chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. Many overuse injuries fall under the category as a “sports injury,” but are not necessarily caused by sporting activities.
Most Common Sports Injuries
Although there are many types of sports injuries, the most common include:
Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains are the most common types of sport injuries. A sprain is when a ligament becomes overstretched or torn, whereas a strain affects muscles. Sprains most frequently occur in the ankle, knee, and wrist. Strains are more common in the hamstrings, back, and abdomen. Sprains and strains can vary in severity and can cause symptoms such as pain, tenderness, weakness, swelling, bruising, and limited movement.
A bone fracture, or broken bone, can be caused by many factors, such as a sudden impact, collision, fall, or overuse. It can cause symptoms such as sudden, severe pain, followed by immediate swelling, bruising, and tenderness to the area. A fracture requires prompt medical attention because, if left untreated, it can prevent proper healing and may lead to complications.
Cartilage protects the ends of bones at joints. It can become damaged as a result of a sudden injury or through gradual wear and tear. Cartilage damage most commonly affects the knees, but it can affect the shoulders, elbows, hips, and ankles, too. Symptoms include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, a grinding sensation, and limited mobility. A meniscus tear is a common sports injury of the knee.
Repetitive movements overtime can cause tendons to become irritated and swollen, a condition known as tendonitis. It can cause joint pain and stiffness and affect the function of the tendon. Tendonitis is most common in the wrist, shoulder, elbow, knee, and heel. Some common tendon tears include Rotator cuff tears of the shoulder, Achilles tear of the ankle and biceps tears in the shoulder and elbow.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). It occurs from a direct blow to the head or when the head or body is forcefully shaken. Concussion can cause confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and vomiting and may cause a loss of consciousness. To prevent complications, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you may have had a concussion.
Treatment for Sports Injuries
Treatment can vary and will depend on the severity of the injury. Minor injuries will often get better with self-care, such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), and by taking over-the-counter pain relief medications. For more severe injuries, medical treatment is typically necessary, which may include splinting or casting, physical or occupational therapy, medication, or injections. Sometimes, surgery may be necessary to repair damage, realign a bone, or remove any loose tissue.
How Sports Medicine Can Help with Sports-Related Injuries
A sports medicine doctor specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sports-related injuries. They provide personalized treatment for adults who regularly exercise to maintain their personal fitness, or who have a physically demanding job. They also treat children and adolescents involved in sports.
Sports medicine doctors have the expertise and training to diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide range of sports injuries. They are fully up-to-date with the most advanced nonsurgical and surgical treatments to relieve pain and preserve or restore normal function and get you back to your activity as quickly as possible.
Often, many sports injuries can be prevented by improving technique, always warming up and cooling down properly, and by wearing suitable protective clothing, such as a helmet, shin pads, or gloves. A sports medicine doctor can work with you to prevent future injuries by helping you to improve your technique, such as pitching during baseball, to reduce elbow and shoulder injuries.
Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgeon in Southwest Florida
If you have a sports injury, visit the specially-trained sports medicine doctors at Advanced Orthopedic Center for expert care. We can help restore function and reduce pain, allowing you to get back to competing or doing what you enjoy as quickly as possible.
Along with treating a variety of sports-related injuries, our sports medicine doctors can offer expert advice on a range of areas, such as proper nutrition, supplements, beneficial exercise, improving overall performance, and injury prevention.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our specially trained sports medicine doctors, call Advanced Orthopedics Center at (941) 629-6262 or simply use our online appointment request form.