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6 Common Sports Injuries You Should Know About

4 min read

Millions of people, adults and kids, get injured doing some sort of sport every year. Sports, such as football (soccer), American football, basketball, and rugby, tend to cause many injuries because of the physical nature of the competitions.

For people who love competing on the field or the track, sports injury treatment is almost unavoidable. Here, we discuss six of the most common sports injuries you should be aware of.

1. Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are common sports injuries affecting participants of all ages. They are probably the most common type of sports injury.

Ligaments support all the bones in the body. When these structures get torn when you twist your ankle, they can stretch and tear, resulting in a sprain. Several ligaments keep the ankle stable, but in most sprained ankle cases, it’s the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle that get injured.

The severity of ankle sprains varies according to the level of damage to the ligament, whether it’s just a few tiny tears or a complete tear. If a ligament is completely torn, the ankle may retain long-term instability, causing further damage to the ankle and its structures over time.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain, especially if you try to step on the foot
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Instability or loose feeling of the ankle
  • Difficulty in moving the ankle

Treatment

Most ankle sprains will heal with proper treatment. Doctors usually recommend the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

Once the swelling and pain have improved, it is advisable to start exercises to improve the ankle’s range of movement and prevent stiffness. After that, you can start with strengthening exercises as advised by a doctor or physical therapist.

2. Knee injuries

Knee injuries result from trauma to the structures that make up the knee joint, including ligaments, tendons, cartilage, bones, and muscles. A fall, a forceful twist, or a high-impact incident like a traffic accident can cause trauma.

Fractures, dislocations, tears, sprains, or other trauma cause most knee injuries. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are a common knee injury among sports participants.

The ACL controls the rotation and forward movement of the shin bone and limits the knee’s ability to rotate.

An ACL injury happens when the ACL gets torn and can’t perform this critical function any longer. The injury commonly occurs when an athlete suddenly stops or changes direction while running, jumping or landing. This type of sports injury is common in top-level tennis, downhill skiing, basketball, and football.

3. Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries are common in sports that require overhead movements and repetitive motions, such as cricket, baseball, swimming, tennis, weightlifting, and volleyball.

The shoulder is a complex joint where three bones come together. The joint is stabilised by the rotator cuff. The shoulder also includes ligaments that hold the bones together and tendons that connect muscles to bones. Shoulder injuries can affect any of these shoulder components.

Common shoulder injuries include rotator cuff injuries due to overuse or trauma that resulted in tears or strains in the rotator cuff.

Shoulder dislocation is another injury that can befall athletes. That happens when the head of the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder socket due to a sudden blow to the shoulder or a fall on the arm.

When the shoulder joint is inflamed, it can become stiff and painful, making not only participating in sports but also many routine tasks like dressing and undressing painful.

When the shoulder joint is inflamed, it can become stiff and painful, making not only participating in sports but also many routine tasks like dressing and undressing painful.

4. Shin Splints

Shin splints are used to describe injury to the shins due to overuse. With shin splints, inflammation causes pain in the shins, particularly along the inner edge of the shinbone.

This sports injury emerges when athletes decide to intensify or change their training routines and don’t implement the decision gradually. The sudden change in routine can cause the muscles, tendons, or bone tissue around the shinbone to become inflamed. The pain is felt on the inside edge where muscles attach to the shin bone.

Long-distance runners and parkour enthusiasts are particularly susceptible to shin splints if they don’t take special care with their training programs.

5. Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee, or patellofemoral pain syndrome, is not just a sports injury—around 23% of the global population suffers from it.

Runner’s knee causes dull pain around the front of the knee due to overuse or wearing down of the ligaments or tendons of the knee joint. Overuse from athletic activities like running, skiing, jumping, and cycling can cause runner’s knee.

Runner’s knee can also develop due to problems with the feet, such as a fallen arch and weak muscles around the knee.

A sports injury doctor will usually recommend X-rays to evaluate the damage to the cartilage and the overall condition of the knee.

6. Fractures

Fractures are common in sports, particularly in contact sports such as hockey, football, and rugby. The body parts that suffer the most fractures are wrists, hands, collarbones, ankles, and feet.

Athletes can suffer stress fractures and acute fractures. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone that appear over time due to overuse or repetitive movements.

Acute fractures occur suddenly as a result of a traumatic event, like a sudden heavy blow to a body part. They are complete breaks of a bone. This is a serious and painful sports injury that needs immediate medical attention, which a professional sports injury clinic in Singapore can provide.