According to the CDC, every three minutes someone dies as the result of an injury – over 200,000 people a year. In addition, millions more are injured and survive. For most people, sports injuries are the most common type of accidental injury.
A sports injury encompasses any injury that occurs as a result of physical activity. These injuries can affect your bones or joints, tissues or muscles. The feet, ankles and knees are prime locations for injury during physical activity and are some of the most common injuries that occur. Head and back injuries can occur from falling or from an impact with someone.
What are some of the most common injuries and their consequences?
The hamstring, located on the back of the thigh, are the tendons that connect the thigh bone to the large thigh muscles. Hamstring injuries occur when you accelerate rapidly. It can be a minor injury or a major tear. Repeated injury to the hamstring can have long-term consequences that affect your flexibility and mobility. One of the most effective ways to prevent repeat injury is to learn proper stretching and warm-up activities to strengthen the hamstring.
Sprains can happen anywhere there are ligaments and joints. A sprain occurs when there is stress to the affected area. Less serious ones can heal over time on their own, however wearing a supportive brace can help the area to heal properly. Severe sprains can make you more likely to sprain the area again in the future unless the sprain is treated effectively. Strengthening exercises for ankle instability can help prevent injury to the area and prevent long term consequences.
Despite the name, tennis elbow can be the result of a number of issues. It is caused by an inflammation of the tendons joining the muscles of the forearm. When overused, these tendons and muscles can be damaged which causes pain. Persistent pain, even after resting the elbow, can be a sign of nerve damage. Tennis elbow can be a chronic problem and can persist for years if left untreated. Proper treatment should include not only management for pain but correcting the movement and bad habits that may have caused the issue.
The weight-bearing areas of the body are most prone to stress fractures. The most common spots are the heels of the feet or the wrist, when pressure is applied to support your movement. Untreated stress fractures can lead to chronic problems or repeated fractures in the area. As a result, you can have limited mobility and constant discomfort in the area where the stress fracture occurred.
The tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee happens most commonly in sports activities, although it can happen other times. It is common in activities that involve rapid stops or changes in direction, repeated jumping and running movements. Athletes who play tennis, soccer, football, basketball or participate in downhill skiing are, particularly at risk. Your treatment may include physical therapy and rehabilitative exercises along with rest from your activity. Severe ACL injuries may require surgical correction. Without proper strengthening following an injury, repeated tears may occur and result in a decline in the strength of the knee. You are more likely to sustain repeated injuries the more surgeries you have.
The cartilage in your knee is called the meniscus. There are two (menisci) sections in your knee that act as cushions between your lower leg and your upper leg. Any activity that puts pressure on your knee can cause a meniscus tear. There may be a popping sound and a sensation of slipping in the knee which is an indicator that the cartilage has torn loose. Wear and tear on the surface of the cartilage by the torn piece can cause additional pain. Over time, this can result in reduced mobility due to degeneration of the knee joint.
Pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in the lower back that travels through the buttock into the back of your legs is known as sciatica. Sciatica is typically caused by other physical conditions, so treatment should focus on addressing the cause in addition to treating the symptoms. It can cause a narrowing of the spinal canal, which is referred to as spinal stenosis. The compression of the spinal cord can be dangerous and lead to paralysis, severe pain and weakness.
Experiencing any of these injuries can be frustrating. With proper care and treatment, however, you can recover and return to your normal activities in most cases. Are you dealing with pain from a sports injury?
Call us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you regain strength and mobility.