Sports and exercise are important steps to maintaining health. Unfortunately, injuries during participation in sports are all too common. Sports injuries commonly occur in beginners, those who don’t use proper safety equipment, or become overzealous about an exercise regimen. Sometimes, it is unpredictable and just happens.
The following are 3 of the most common forms of sports injuries:
1. Strains and Sprains – An acute twisting or overextending of a joint can lead to tears in muscles and tendons called strains, and tears of ligaments called sprains. These can range from mild to severe, or even a complete tear.
2. Tendonitis – A common injury is tendonitis, a condition in which the tendon becomes inflamed from repetitive use. Tennis elbow is a common form of tendonitis that occurs along the outside of the elbow, most commonly in tennis players. In golfers elbow, the tendons on the inside of the elbow become inflamed. You don’t have to be a golfer, tennis player, or serious athlete to develop these though. They can even develop from repetitive use at work.
3. Stress Fractures – Some athletes may experience a stress fracture, which occurs when an abnormal amount of stress is applied to a normal bone, such as a runner who rapidly increases the amount of mileage, rather than gradually progressing to longer distances. Shin splints are caused by micro fractures along the front surface of the tibia (shin bone).
In many cases, sports injuries can be prevented. Proper conditioning, warm-up and cool-down procedures, understanding proper techniques and using appropriate safety equipment can substantially reduce injuries.
Sports injuries are most often diagnosed from the history of the activity, which brought on the pain, along with a physical examination. In some cases, x-rays, MRI, or ultrasound may be useful as well.
If a fracture is diagnosed, some sort of stabilizing device, like a cast is often required. Rehab for sports injuries in my office, depending on the diagnosis, consists of a combination of chiropractic, massage, physiotherapy, stretching, therapeutic exercise, and patient education. Every injury is unique; therefore the appropriate treatment will vary.
Please feel free to contact me if you are thinking about starting an exercise program and are interested in any advice.