What are the sports injuries that we should be concerned about the most?
Let’s face it, life has gotten really hectic. Our work week seems to stretch farther and farther into what is supposed to be our personal time, and that doesn’t even begin to include all the other chores and responsibilities that pile up on our to-do lists. Finding some time to relax and work out some of that stress is more important than ever. For many, that means some sort of sporting activity on the weekend, which happens to be the perfect combination of exercise and doing something that is truly enjoyable. That is, perfect until it’s not. This brings us to the ever-unpopular sports injury!
Children never worry about getting hurt sliding into second base, running full out down a soccer field or perfecting a killer serve with endless repetitions. But, as adults, we do. At least, we should, unless we are content to be benched for frequent and lengthy periods of time while we heal from runner’s knee, a hamstring pull or one of the other common sports injuries that plague weekend warriors.
Common Sports Injuries Waiting to Sideline You
Strains, involving muscles and tendons, and sprains, which affect ligaments, are the most common sports injuries. Pulling or overusing muscles and stretching ligaments farther than they were meant to go can create tears or other damage.
According to William Roberts, MD, sports medicine physician at the University of Minnesota and spokesman for the American College of Sports Medicine, “Think of ligaments and muscle-tendon units like springs. The tissue lengthens with stress and returns to its normal length — unless it is pulled too far out of its normal range.”
The seven most common results of abusing muscles, tendons and ligaments are:
- Ankle sprain – turning of foot inward, which stretches or tears the ligaments on the outside of the ankle
- Groin pull – common in baseball, football, soccer and hockey, caused by pushing off in a side-to-side motion
- Hamstring strain – overstretching the three hamstring muscles in the back of the thigh, common to many activities
- Shin splints – pain along the inner edge of the tibia, often the result of running on hard surfaces
- Knee injury: ACL tear – sudden movements or getting hit from the side can cause the ligament holding the leg bone to the knee to strain or tear
- Knee injury: Patellofemoral syndrome – known as “runner’s knee”, caused by repetitive movement of kneecap against thigh bone
- Tennis elbow – tennis and golf are good examples where repetitive use can create irritation or tiny tears in the tendons of the elbow
Sports bring a lot of joy to our lives, and it’s something that shouldn’t be abandoned out of fear of injury. True, being injured can be painful and inconvenient, but most injuries can be treated or, even better, prevented. The trick is to use a little common sense and work your way up to a level of fitness that allows you to play and have fun. And, of course, have your favorite rehabilitation specialist on speed dial!
At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our physicians are committed to more than just treating your symptoms. We focus on finding the underlying cause and providing non-surgical, evidenced based solutions tailored to your specific condition and needs. If you have questions or have sustained a sports injury, we invite you to schedule a consultation by simply calling (516) 268-0070 or using our convenient online form by clicking here.