Learn the basics about the injuries that athletes of all abilities face.
Whether you’re a sports “weekend warrior” or a pro athlete, you’re bound to experience some kind of sports-related injury. Here’s some basic information on sports injuries and what athletes can do to treat them.
Common Sports Injuries
The most common sports injuries are:
- Injuries to soft tissue, such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles, resulting in:
- Knee injuries
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Pain along the shinbone
- Rotator cuff injuries
Less common, but generating increasing concern in the sports world, are concussions. They can occur while taking part in a wide range of activities, and a person might suffer one without necessarily losing consciousness.
What to Do When They Occur
People who feel pain while participating in athletics should immediately stop what they’re doing. Depending on the injury, it might be necessary to call 911 and seek emergency treatment. With many sports injuries, however, the athlete or someone nearby can begin the RICE treatment method:
Rest – Stop using the injured body part and cut down on regular activities.
Ice – Place an ice pack or bag on the injured area for 20 minutes, at least four times per day.
Compression – To reduce swelling, put even pressure on the injured area. Some tools for doing this include elastic wraps or splints.
Elevation – Rest the injured area on a pillow at a level above the heart.
Preventing Sports Injuries
Some ways to prevent the injuries in the first place include:
- Warming up before playing a sport or doing exercises
- Stretching after a warm up
- Using the proper equipment, which can mean:
- Having the right shoes for each sport
- Wearing protective gear such as helmets, pads, or braces
- Not taking part in a sport when already experiencing pain
- Resting when tired
At Lower Keys Medical Center, we acknowledge all the benefits physical activity has for our health. We also know that even after taking precautions, sports injuries do occur. We have orthopedic specialists on staff that are trained in sports medicine who can diagnose and treat the wide range of injuries that athletes experience. For a free referral, please visit LKMC.com.