Playing sports is a great way to stay active and reach daily and weekly exercise goals throughout your life. But no matter your age or your sport of choice, prolonged physical activity can leave your body susceptible to sports-related injuries. Whether you’re playing a round of golf or a pickup game of basketball, you want to stay healthy and keep your body in good condition. You can do this by understanding the most common sports injuries – and knowing how to prevent them. Here are 3 of the most common athletic injuries:
- Ankle Sprain. Sprains are the most common injury for athletes. When you have a sprain, it means you have over-extended certain ligaments – the tough bands connecting bones and cartilage to form joints. Usually, athletes sprain the ligaments in their ankles, which occurs when the foot is turned inwards. If you have a sprained ankle, ask your doctor or physical therapist about the exercises you can do to rebuild strength and flexibility. With the proper exercises, you can decrease the likelihood of reinjury.
- Knee Injury (ACL). Straining or tearing your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can be much more serious than other common athletic injuries. Your ACL holds your leg bone to your knee and can be injured by sudden stops, pivots, or by getting hit from the side. You should see a doctor if you suspect your ACL is strained or torn. A completely torn ACL may require surgery.
- Tennis Elbow. Tennis elbow, or epicondylitis, usually occurs after excessively repeating certain motions, such as swinging a golf club or tennis racquet. The repetitive motion may irritate or cause small tears in your elbow tendons. Resting until you’re not in pain will usually help heal tennis elbow, but there’s no harm in getting a professional’s opinion.
These are only a few of the most common sports injuries. Sports injuries are unfortunately sometimes beyond our control, but you can still take preventative measures to decrease your likelihood of injury.
If you’re a weekend warrior who only plays on your days off, adding a daily workout to your routine will help prevent injury when you go all out. You can also prevent injury by warming up your muscles before exertion. Gradually getting blood flow to your muscles before physical exertion will decrease the potential for injury. If your muscles feel fatigued, it’s time for a break. Tired muscles are more susceptible to injury.
If you have any questions about other common injuries and how to prevent and treat them, feel free to contact us at Advanced Surgical Hospital. We have the medical expertise and resources such as an MRI machine and physical therapy tools to help you get back on the field, pain-free.