Athletes are known for giving their all during a competition or even a practice. Most of us are involved in athletics from a very young age. When we are playing hard, we are often injured. There are almost nine million injuries every year in the United States and about half are treated in the ER and the other half in a clinic or doctor’s office. Of these nine million injuries, almost 30 percent are caused by falls. The most common injuries that occur to athletes include sprains, pulled muscles, strains, bruises, and broken bones. While concussions often get a lot of notice, they only account for about five percent of all sports injuries.
A sprain is ligament injury. The ligament stretches or tears and can be very painful. The extent of the injury to a single ligament will impact the severity of the sprain. If a ligament is completely or partially torn, the injury can be much more painful and take longer to heal. The ligaments most frequently sprained are the knees, ankles, and wrists.
A strain is another common sports injury. This type of injury occurs when a tendon or muscle is stretched, overused or forced. Most strains involve a muscle or tendon being stretched, but some strains can result in a complete or partial tear. The ham strings and the lower back are two of the most common sites for a strain.
Another common sports injury is a pulled muscle. This injury commonly occurs when someone doesn’t warm up completely. A muscle is pulled when a severe, sudden force causes the muscle fibers to stretch too far. When this occurs, the muscle fibers can tear. One of the most common types of muscle pulls is the hamstring. Another is a pulled calf muscle. It helps to stretch thoroughly before working out.
Runner’s Knee is another type of athletic injury. Knee injuries make up more than half of all sports injuries. Runner’s knee is often a catch-all phrase for any pain or ache that impacts the kneecap. Runner’s knee is officially caused by a misalignment of the kneecap. As the knee is flexed and then straightened out, it is pulled to the side. As this happens, the kneecap rubs along the groove which wears out the cartilage. The knee may swell as fluid begins to build. Runner’s knee can be prevented by keeping the quadriceps muscle strong and wearing proper footwear.
The shoulder is another common site for a sports injury. The rotator cuff muscles hold the shoulder bones together and help with all fine movements of the shoulder. Sports such as throwing or hitting, along with swimming and weight training can cause the rotator cuff muscles to stretch which can allow the joint to become loose within the socket of the shoulder.
Another common sports injury is shin splints. These occur when an athlete jumps or runs on a hard surface. People who aren’t used to exercising are especially prone to shin splints.
The most common sports injuries occur as a result of not warming up. These injuries include sprains, pulled muscles, strains, and broken bones.