If you exercise or play a sport, either alone or with others, you could get hurt when you don’t pay attention. Perhaps, you do military presses with added poundage, although your shoulder has been aching for some weeks now. Unfortunately, you tear your deltoid muscle.
Perhaps, you run to the finish line, although you know that pain in your ankle is a clear sign for you to stop. Unfortunately, you experience a severe ankle sprain and the painful swelling takes weeks to heal.
Or perhaps, you keep on pedaling as fast as can when you’re biking, although you are now well past the point of fatigue. Unfortunately, you run over a rock that you didn’t notice, wobble, and fall.
We can suffer from a wide variety of minor injuries, like sprains, contusions, or pulled muscles, while exercising or playing sports. It’s important to learn how to prevent injuries from happening in the first place by pacing ourselves, stretching, and using proper techniques. If we do injure ourselves, we can use ice/ice/heat therapy, supportive braces and sleeves, OTC pain relievers, and rest and elevation to speed up recovery. You can get more information online on how base layer bracing and compression zone technology can help you prevent injuries or help speed up your recovery.
Common Injuries, Prevention, and Recovery
Let’s take a closer look at some basic types of sports injuries, how to prevent injuries from happening in the first place, and what to do if you do have an injury.
- Common Injuries
The six most common sports injuries are sprains, strains, knees injuries, shin splints, dislocations, and fractures. They range in severity.
- Sprains are the most common of all types of minor injuries. They occur when a ligament, the connective tissues attached to bones, overstretches or tears. This occurs in wrists, knees, and ankles.
- Strains are similar to sprains, except that muscles or tendons, not ligaments, overstretch or tear.
- Knee injuries range from mild to severe, and if severe, they may require surgery to repair cartilage or ligaments. There are different types of knee injuries. Illiotibial band syndrome occurs when the ligament from the hip to the shin becomes painfully tight or get inflamed. Runner’s knee is tenderness or acute pain close to the front of the knee cap. And tendonitis refers to the condition when there is inflammation or degeneration within a tendon.
- Shin splints refer to pain associated with the tibia. This pain can be to the front of the lower leg, the foot, or the ankle. There are different types of shin splints, like anterior shin splints or medial shin splints. This injury is common among runners who run on a concrete path or road.
- Dislocations, or luxation, occur when the bones in a joint are forced out of alignment. These usually affect those in contact sports like football or martial arts. This is an emergency and requires a medical expert to push the dislocated bone back into place. This is acutely painful because the connective tissue around the joint is damaged and inflamed. Dislocation may occur in fingers, hands, shoulders, elbows, knees, and hips.
- Fractures are a broken bone. An acute fracture is a one-time injury while a stress fracture is the result of repeated bone stress over a period of time. These are medical emergencies.
- Injury Prevention
The reason we overdo things when playing sports is because we are high on natural endorphins and feel invincible, and we also have goals that we are fiercely determined to reach. Whether we are competing against others or our previous best records, it’s hard to be sensible and stop and when we have so much momentum going for us. You can prevent injuries by wearing protective gear, warming up and cooling down, and not playing when you’re injured. If involved in a team sport, you should watch out for attacks by the other team and understand the rules of the game.
- Injury Recovery
Depending on the type of injury, treatments can include massage, rest, heat treatments, icing the inflammation, and taking anti-inflammatory medication. If severe, you should go to the hospital immediately.
While some sports injuries are due to accidents, the majority of them are due to not paying attention or pushing past pain.