Common Sports Injuries

According to this article from WebMD we’re going to talk through the most common sports injuries:

Ankle Sprain

Sometimes referred to as rolling an ankle it can be very painful at the time. It will normally be associated with varying amounts of swelling which can be very severe in some cases. The first thing is in this condition is to establish if anything has been broken. A key indicator of this is whether you can weight bear at all. If will be excruciatingly painful if anything is broken. If you are in any doubt at all it is best to get yourself up to A&E to rule out this.

This will naturally get better with time. One of the key things you can do in the initial phase post injury is to take the pressure off the ankle. It is best to use crutches for 3-4 days and ice regularly to minimise the swelling. Don’t expect no pain when you start weight bearing again and it will be stiff. Don’t do too much on it initially and progress as pain allows.

Groin Pull

Very much a lay term as there are 27 different muscles crossing the hip and a ‘groin’ strain may be affected by any of them. Most commonly a few fibres in some of the muscles around the groin will be torn and it takes about 6 weeks for the body to fully heal.

Very common in footballers especially when trying to hit a long pass or powerful shot. The most common muscles involved and the quadriceps (the muscles along the front of your thigh) the adductors (the muscles on the inside of your thigh) and the psoas (the muscles that lifts your leg up).

Hamstring Strain

The old classic you see on the TV when watching the football. A football sprints to get the ball and then pulls up in agony. Interesting research suggests that most hamstring strains occur whilst you are slowing down, not speeding up.

Again normal muscle repair will take about 6 weeks for the hamstring to fully repair but you may be able to get back running a little sooner. Especially if it wasn’t too bad a strain. Listen to your body and progress back to activity as your body allows. Start with some low resistance cycling, build to a gentle jog when pain allows and then check your sprinting before going back to full sport.

Shin Splints

Another lay term which can be a number of different conditions. Anterior compartment syndrome, posterior compartment syndrome and medial tibial stress syndrome are the most common scary latin terms that are banded around.

All those terms mean is that the muscles in your shin have been working too hard for your body in it’s current state to handle. Most likely you’ve done too much exercise too soon. Rest up a little while until the pain subsides and then progress back gradually at a much lower intensity then previously.

This time take you time and allow your body time to adapt to a gradual increase in activity. If you’re still struggling seek the advice of a Sports Therapist or Physiotherapist.

ACL Tear

The biggie. You’ll certainly know if you’ve done one. There will have been lots of pain, lots of swelling and you’ve probably been up to hospital to get it checked out already. The big decision is do you have it operated on or not.

Of course every individual is different and so should make the decision with medical practitioners. The key determining factors are what do you intend to do with the knee in the future. If you want to get back to sport that involves a lot of rotational movement then the operation is recommended. If not then you may be better without.

Patello-femoral Syndrome

A catch all term for pain in and around the knee which isn’t actually any damage. This is the kind of knee pain that comes on for no real reason or hangs around long since an old injury should be healed.

Finding the right exercises and the right combination of activity to increase the strength of the muscles which act the across the knee will give the knee greater stability and should ease the symptoms.

Tennis Elbow

Not just tennis players but golfers and even office worker too. Comes about from the overuse of the muscles in the forearm. Drop back the amount you use the forearms and build up more gradually again. This should make the condition easier to deal with.

For office workers you may need to look at how you sit at your desk to help unload the tissues to aid recovery.

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