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Common Sports Injuries, Prevention & Rehabilitation: Safeguarding Your Athletic Journey

18 July 2023

Sports Injury | Dr. Pradeep Sharma
Common Sports Injuries, Prevention & Rehabilitation: Safeguarding Your Athletic Journey

Sports injuries are an unfortunate but common occurrence among athletes of all levels. Whether you're a professional competitor or a recreational enthusiast, understanding the basics of sports injuries is crucial. Common sports injuries encompass a wide range, including sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, and more. 

However, the good news is that proper techniques and precautions can prevent many of these injuries. Sports injury prevention involves adequate warm-up and stretching, proper equipment, fitness and conditioning, and safe playing techniques. In the event of an injury, effective rehabilitation plays a vital role in promoting recovery, restoring function, and getting athletes back to their sport safely and confidently. 

The blog covers common sports injuries, explores effective strategies for sports injury prevention, and delves into the important role of rehabilitation in promoting recovery and getting athletes back to their sport safely and confidently.

Common Sports Injuries

1. Patellofemoral Syndrome

Most sports injuries happen in the lower body, especially the knees. Patellofemoral syndrome is one of the most typical knee ailments. This diagnosis may be brought on by a fall or slip onto the knees, knee joint swelling, or a muscular imbalance. 

2. Shoulder Injury

Numerous sports injuries, including dislocations, misalignments, muscular strains, and ligament sprains, fall under shoulder injury .The shoulder, experiences a lot of force when engaged in athletic activity. Lack of stability, strength, or flexibility can all contribute to several shoulder ailments.

3. Tennis or Golf Elbow

Tennis elbow and golfer's elbow are frequently observed in sportsmen that engage in many gripping exercises. It is also referred to as lateral or medial epicondylitis and can be an overuse sports ailment. The forearm tendons might get inflamed due to the repetitive motion, which makes any wrist or hand motions excruciatingly uncomfortable. Sports injury specialists will prescribe anti-inflammatory medication, or even a brace, to take pressure off the area and prevent further elbow injuries. 

4. Hamstring Strain

On the back of the thigh there is a group of muscles called the hamstring. Unfortunately, the hamstring muscles are prone to tightness and strains, commonly called pulled muscles. A hamstring rip or strain may result from improper stretching methods or not stretching. Bruising in the knee or the back of the leg is frequently present in athletes with torn hamstrings. 

5. Sciatica

Back discomfort, known as sciatica, can radiate down the back of the leg or even to the foot. The limb may also experience numbness, burning, tingling, and radiating pain.  

6. Shin Splints

Shin splints cause pain in the tibia, which is the bone in the lower leg. Most athletes who run or engage in sports like football or other activities requiring a lot of jogging are likelier to get shin splints. Shin splints are frequently detected in athletes early in the season because they up their mileage or activities too rapidly. 

7. Groin Pull

A groin strain is another name for a groin pull. The groin muscles are located in the inner thigh above the knee and the upper inner thigh. Legs are pulled together by the groin muscles, which are frequently hurt by sudden side-to-side motions and a lack of flexibility. The injured athlete may have pain or bruises in the groin or inner thigh, trouble with lateral movements, and difficulties getting in and out of cars.

8. Concussion

A concussion is brain damage brought on by a blow to the head in which the brain is jolted or rattled. The seriousness of concussions should not be underestimated. A licensed athletic trainer or a doctor with experience treating concussions should be sought after by an athlete who sustains a concussion. Common concussion symptoms include headache, confusion, dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, sensitivity to light, and a delayed response to inquiries.

9. ACL Tear or Strain

One of the main knee ligaments responsible for stabilizing the joint is the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL. Slowing down and attempting to cut, pivot, or change directions while in motion is the most common reason for ACL strains in athletes. ACL damage is a severe event because it frequently tears inside-knee ligaments.

10. Hip Flexor Strain

The muscles that make up your hip flexors are on the front of your upper thigh. Lifting the knee towards the trunk and moving your leg towards and away from the other leg are the primary activities of the hip flexor muscles. Sprinting, running uphill, and sports involving quick turns and abrupt starts can all injure this muscle group.

Sports Injury Prevention

Maintain Flexibility. 

Dynamic stretches are required before beginning your activity. Although it may be tempting to start playing immediately, you should first perform some jumping jacks, butt kicks, or arm circles because cold muscles are more prone to damage.

Strengthen your Core. 

Balance and stability are critical components of all sports, and having a strong core can help you stay injury-free. Planks and ab crunches are two exercises that bolster the core.

Abdominal Crunches

It entails reclining on your back with your feet up against a wall, forming a 90-degree angle with your legs at the hips and knees. When you're ready, lift your head and shoulders off the ground and hold them there for a few seconds.

Holding a plank involves supporting your weight on your forearms and toes while keeping your body in a push-up position.

Use proper technique. 

Knowing to play your sport correctly is essential to protect yourself from injury. An instructor helps you learn. It helps to:

  • Balance your body weight without over-extending your legs, arms, or back.

  • Use proper footwork to avoid injuries to the ankle and the Achilles tendon.

  • Play with the proper equipment for your ability and size.

  • Take time to rest. Your muscles will become overused if you play any sport for an extended period without a break, increasing your risk of injury.

  • Ensure proper healing of a previous injury. Consult your doctor to ensure your injury has healed, and you can start playing so you don't injure yourself again. 

Rehabilitation for Sports Injuries

After initially sustaining a sports injury, it can be easy to want to rush through the recovery process and return to the game. However, taking the time to go through each rehabilitation stage will help ensure you fully recover. 

1. Pain and Swelling Reduction

Pain and swelling are typically a person's first two injury symptoms. These will therefore be the primary issues addressed in physical therapy.  The next phase of therapy can start once the discomfort and swelling have subsided.

2. Improve Joint Mobility and Range of Motion

You can start exercising now that your swelling is decreased. Your muscles and joints can be stiff because of the severity of your injury or from being immobile for a long time. Moving, as a result, can be extremely uncomfortable at times. Your physical therapist will begin you with a range of motion exercises as soon as your body is capable of handling them to assist in reducing the amount of time spent with stiff joints and the possibility of long-term injury.

3. Regain Your Strength and Endurance

Gaining strength will come when your range of motion has been restored. By rebuilding your strength, you can lower your chance of recurring injuries and get closer to your peak athletic performance.

4. Increase Coordination Skills

Successful body coordination is essential for athletes. You will need to "re-teach" the wounded area and how to cooperate with the rest of your body during the second to last rehabilitation stage. Physical therapy for sports injuries will assess your progress and consider the motions used in the sport when developing a coordination regimen.

5. Recovering Sports-Specific Movements

Physical therapy for sports injuries will have you practice exercises that simulate the same motions you'd use when competing in your sport as part of the ultimate rehabilitation stage. You can resume your normal activities similar to before the injury. The patients should feel assured that they can start competing without concern for damage once they have finished this level.

Closing Thoughts 

Understanding common sports injuries, implementing effective prevention strategies, and prioritizing proper rehabilitation is essential for athletes' well-being and performance. Regarding sports injury management, Neemtree Healthcare stands out as a trusted choice. 

With 35+ centers, including sports injury clinics in 13 cities, and a team of 50+ experienced doctors, Neemtree Healthcare has improved the quality of life for over 40 years. With over 40,000 happy patients nationwide, their sports injury prevention and rehabilitation expertise is unparalleled. Trust Neemtree health care to provide comprehensive care and personalized treatment plans to continue enjoying your passion for sports while prioritizing your health and well-being.

Dr. Pradeep Sharma

Sr. Orthopedic & Joint Replacement Surgeon
MBBS, Ms (Ortho), MCh (Ortho), Fellowship

Know Your Doctor Dr. Pradeep Sharma carries with him an except......read more