Playing sports is a great way to stay active, socialize, and just have some fun. Unfortunately, athletes can experience injury during play or training that can stop them from playing. If your child is participating in after-school sports, you should be aware of common sports injuries, their treatment, and how to prevent them. Keep reading to learn more.
AFC Urgent Care North Bergen is available to help treat any potential sports injuries. Our providers can assess the damage, make a proper diagnosis, and provide treatment through casts or prescription medications for pain. Visit our center for urgent injury needs today.
Common Sports Injuries
Different sports will have different levels of injury risk and to different parts of the body. Depending on the sport you play, you could experience one or more of the following most common sports injuries:
- Bone fractures. Broken bones can happen in pretty much any sport. A bone breaks when a strong or sudden force is applied, like from a fall or a person-to-person impact. A bone fracture will usually be very painful and exhibit swelling, numbness, or tenderness.
- Achilles tendon damage. The Achilles tendon is the tissue that connects the heel to the calf muscle and allows us to walk. If it is damaged, it can be painful to walk and almost impossible to play a sport. This happens when an athlete doesn’t properly stretch before playing or training.
- Knee problems. Sports that include a lot of running or jumping could lead to knee issues, like “jumper’s knee,” where there is damage to the connective tissue around the kneecap. “Runner’s knee” is another knee injury caused by repetitive motion, like long-distance runners or cyclists.
- Shin splints. Shin splints occur when the tendons and muscles around the lower half of the leg are inflamed from overuse. Symptoms include sharp pain in the shin and some swollenness. This injury often appears in runners and basketball players.
- Sprains and strains. These two injuries often get mixed up, but they are different. A sprain happens when there is a tear or stretch in a ligament, the type of connective tissue. A strain is a tear in muscle tissue. Both are caused by overextending or twisting the tissue and cause pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising.
- Dislocation. A dislocation occurs when a bone becomes dislodged from its place in a joint. Arms and leg bones can often become dislocated, especially during contact sports like football.
Preventing Sports Injury
Though you can’t always account for accidents during play, there are a few things you can do to prevent sports injuries. Here are a few tips.
- Warm-up. Many sports injuries happen because the muscles or ligaments are too tight. Taking time to warm up before a game with some light cardio exercise and plenty of stretching will prepare your body for action and give you more mobility.
- Cool down. To minimize the damage that may have happened during the game, take time to cool down with more stretching.
- Know when to rest. If your body doesn’t have enough time to repair normal muscle damage that occurs during training and sports, you’re more likely to experience injury. If your muscles are sore, let them rest for a few days before going back to playing. And if you’re injured, don’t push yourself to play.
Potential Treatment Options
The positive side is that many sports injuries are manageable and don’t require medical assistance. For sprains, strains, and overall soreness, the R.I.C.E method will work:
- Rest. Take some time away from physical activity as your body repairs itself.
- Ice. Ice can reduce pain and swelling.
- Compression. Use gentle pressure to control swelling.
- Elevation. Lifting the injured area will reduce swelling and encourage faster healing.
For more severe injuries, you should see a doctor. If the pain, swelling, or bruising is not improving at home, you may need medical assistance.
If you’ve suffered a sports injury, let the experts at AFC Urgent Care North Begrenhelp. Our providers will help you get back on track and back to the game.