Injuries are a common and sometimes inevitable risk that accompanies the wonderful world of sports. Sports injuries are musculoskeletal injuries that are usually associated with certain physical activities. Such injuries come in all shapes and forms. Some of the most commonly reported sports injuries are strains, sprains, dislocations, and fractures. Let’s take a closer look.
Strains, sometimes referred to as pulled muscles, are the most commonly reported sports injury. They can occur as a result of overstretching or pulling a muscle or a tendon (a band of fibrous tissue that attaches muscle to bone), causing the muscle or tendon to either twist or completely tear. The most commonly affected muscle is the hamstring (the calf muscle).
Strains can be very painful and can cause bruising, swelling, muscle spasms, and limitation of movement.
Different from strains, sprains are caused by overstretching of ligaments, which are bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones together. A sprain can cause joint swelling, tenderness, and movement limitation. You may hear or feel a popping sensation in the affected area at the time of injury.
Dislocation injuries are usually caused due to direct trauma, falls, or collisions, which put extreme force on ligaments, causing bones to separate from their original positions. The most commonly affected joints are the shoulder joint in adults and elbow joints in young children.
A dislocation injury can cause joint pain, swelling, and loss of function.
A fracture is a breakage in a bone, typically due to a direct hard blow to the bone. Fractures can vary from small cracks to complete fractures.
Another form of fractures are stress fractures, which are small cracks in a bone caused by continuous stress put on particular body parts through intense sports like running and gymnastics.
Fractures can cause severe pain, deformity, swelling, bruising, and immobilization of the affected area.
How to Prevent Sports Injuries?
Sports injuries are quite common. However, there are some preventive approaches that can help decrease the risk of developing sports-related injuries. These include:
Proper warming up before starting any physical activity is crucial, as it helps prepare your muscles by loosening them up, thus preventing strains and cramps.
Use the Proper Gear
Using proper gear for different activities, e.g., a protective helmet and pads when cycling or appropriate shoes when running, can help reduce the risk of sports-related injuries.
Drink Enough Water
Hydrating your body properly during physical activities, and especially during hot, humid days, plays an important role in preventing heat-related symptoms such as nausea, headaches, vomiting, and fainting.
Practice the Technique
Practice makes perfect. Using the proper techniques in sports can help prevent joint injuries, dislocations, and wear-and-tear injuries.
Don’t Overdo It
Resting between practices and games helps your muscles regain their strength and reduces muscle fatigue, which makes your muscles less liable for injuries.
Don’t Neglect Injuries
Keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms you might experience, and seek immediate medical help when needed.
When to See a Physician
Some cases of sports injuries can be treated at home with simple remedies.
Initial treatment for most sports injuries, such as strains and sprains, can include:
- Immobilization of the affected part
- Complete rest
- Ice packing
However, more serious injuries require medical attention, as they can result in permanent deformities and loss of function.
It is recommended that you visit your physician if you experience any of the following:
- Being unable to move the affected part
- The pain becomes intractable
- Feeling numbness or tingling over the affected area
- Feeling of the symptoms worsening
- Fractures or dislocations
Sports medicine is a medical specialty dedicated to managing and treating injuries that are usually associated with sports and physical exercise. In addition to providing treatment options for acute injuries such as strains, sprains, fractures, and dislocations, sports medicine specialists manage chronic overuse injuries and promote the importance of regular physical activities. They also play a role in preventing injuries and helping athletes improve their overall health and performance.
Sports Medicine Experts in San Antonio, TX
If you are looking for comprehensive care provided by a team of expert sports medicine specialists, The Podiatry Group of South Texas is here for you. Our board-certified experts’ goal is to provide you with premium care in a comfortable environment and make your experience an unforgettable one.
You can contact the office nearest you, or use our convenient online form to request an appointment. We look forward to meeting you.