Preventing and Treating Sports Injuries

basketball game

Exercise is an important part of life in order to become or stay healthy. For many people, sports are a fun way of burning extra calories, socializing and getting fit. Unfortunately, this also means the occasional sports injury, or a flare-up of an old injury or condition.
You don’t have to be a professional or even amateur athlete to suffer a sports injury. In fact, many times those most susceptible to sports injury are people who have just started exercising or do it on a recreational level; your typical weekend warrior. Sports injuries are typically seen as injuries to the musculoskeletal system, including muscles, bones, and tissues such as ligaments, tendons and cartilage.

The most common sports injuries include:

Sprains: A sprain occurs when the ligaments that join the ends of one bone with another are
stretched or torn. Sprains are caused by trauma such as a fall or blow to the body that knocks a
joint out of position. Ankles, knees and wrists are most vulnerable to sprains. However, back,
neck and shoulder sprains are very common too.

Strains: A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is pulled, torn or twisted. Strains can occur from
overstretching during a forceful movement whilst playing. A common example of a strain is a
muscle spasm. A back or neck strain is a very common injury treated in physical therapy.

Knee pain and injuries: According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the
knee is the most commonly injured joint. Orthopedic surgeons see more than 5.5 million people
annually for knee pain and injuries, which can include runner’s knee (pain or tenderness close to
the knee cap at the front side of the knee), tendonitis and iliotibial band syndrome (pain on the
outer side of the knee). Severe knee injuries often include bone bruises or damage to the cartilage
or ligaments.

Shin splints: Shin splints occur when there is pain along the large bone in the front of the lower
leg, known as the tibia or shin bone. Shin splints most commonly occur in runners, especially
those who are just starting a running program. This is usually due to poor alignment of the body,
or weakness in the leg muscles. The good news is that we can treat many orthopedic and
repetitive motion injuries without the need for invasive surgeries or addictive medications.

Prevention

Proper training, strengthening and stretching are the most important elements to preventing sports injuries. It’s important to work with professionals, trained in your sport and are dedicated to making sure you are properly conditioned before doing the sport. Our physical therapists have
years of working with different sports injuries and helping to train individuals on how to prevent
injuries. Even, if you have an old injury, it is important to have it evaluated to prevent long-term damage. We're always happy to help you get back to doing what you love. 

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