Whether you’re a life-long athlete or you just started working out again, knowing how to prevent and treat the most common sports injuries is essential.
Luckily, some of the most common injuries in sports can be prevented. And even if you can’t prevent the most common sports injuries, most of them are treatable.
Within the top 10 most common sports injuries, you will find that there are few that actually require surgery. Although, many of them do require physical therapy and downtime to help your body heal.
Common injuries in sports can span in severity from simple to extreme. Additionally, the causes of sports injuries can span from overworked muscles, ligaments, and tendons to severe deterioration of tissue and tendons.
Here are some of the most common sports injuries, along with different ways you can either prevent or treat them.
Sports Injuries: Types, Treatments, And Prevention
1. Most Common Sports Injuries: Knees And Legs
Knee and leg injuries are incredibly common injuries in sports and exercise. This is because most sports and exercises require a lot of leg work. And a lot of leg work generally means a lot of stress on the knees and ankles.
Your ACL is the anterior cruciate ligament. It is a major ligament in your knee, and tearing or straining it isn’t only incredibly painful, but it can also have long-term effects if not treated properly.
If you have an ACL tear, you’ll experience pain in the center of your knee and this pain should not be ignored.
While some ACL tears will require surgery, others only a few safety measures. If you have an ACL tear, be sure to apply ice to your knee for 20 minutes every two hours. You can also invest in a compression knee band to help your knee support your weight when you are standing or walking.
Additionally, you should seek the advice of your doctor, as some ACL tears can be very severe and have long-lasting effects.
In order to prevent ACL tears, make sure that you aren’t overexerting your knees when you play sports or workout. Slowly build the strength in your knee with exercises. The most common causes of sports injuries like ACL tears are overexerting and having weak muscles.
Ankle sprains are one of the top 10 most common sports injuries because they can occur at any time. If you land wrong on your feet during exercise, a twist in the ankle can take you out of the game for days.
While the treatment for an ankle sprain isn’t as severe as an ACL tear, you will have to stay off of your feet for a few days. You should avoid activities that include jumping and running. As a matter of fact, you should stay off of your sprained ankle as much as possible for at least two days.
Apply ice and a compression band to the area as well. If the pain doesn’t subside, contact your doctor immediately.
While you can get an ankle sprain no matter how much you stretch, one of the best ways to prevent ankle sprains is to partake in warm-up activities and stretching. These will give your ankles a little more room if you land wrong.
Additionally, you should avoid running on uneven surfaces and be sure to wear the proper footwear when playing sports or exercising.
2. Most Common Sports Injuries: Muscles And More
You will find several muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries among the most common sport injuries out there. While pulled muscles can generally be avoided by stretching properly and drinking a lot of water, there are some more severe injuries that you can prevent as well.
As with most strains, a pulled hamstring (or hamstring strain) occurs when you stretch the muscle too far, and it begins to tear. Now, I’m not talking about the slight tears that you get when you build muscle; this is much more severe.
Pulled hamstrings generally have a short recovery time, but the most severe ones can require surgery.
As with most of the injuries we discussed so far, mild hamstring strains only require rest, ice, and compression. You can buy thigh compression bands at the drug store or any sporting goods store.
If the pain is severe, discuss taking anti-inflammatory medication with your doctor. If the pain persists, be sure to talk to your doctor about treatment options.
In order to prevent hamstring strains, you absolutely must stretch your thighs and glutes before you begin exercising or playing sports. The first few times you warm up these areas, it might feel like a full workout, but as you continue, you will begin to feel the post-workout difference.
Most people who have had shin splints can tell you that they knew what the pain was right away. The pain along your shin bone comes from a tightness and can almost feel as though it’s burning.
Shin splints are a common sports injury found in runners, dancers, and soccer players. But they’re also pretty common for those who are constantly on their feet.
While shin splints are easy to treat (ice, stretching, and rest), it’s imperative that you treat them immediately. Shin splints that go untreated too long can result in stress fractures in your shins (ouch!).
If you’ve found that you’re prone to shin splints, there are a few ways you can prevent them. Make sure you switch up your workout routines. A lot of repetitive motion can cause shin splints. Additionally, you can buy supportive products for your shins and feet. This will help cushion the areas that experience the most impact during your activities.
Ultimately, the most common sports injuries can be prevented with warm-up exercises, stretching, and paying attention to your movements. However, there are times injuries like these cannot be avoided. Be sure to consult your doctor if you experience a sports- or exercise-related injury because it might be more severe than you think.