As you can guess, practicing sports on a regular basis is very healthy. After all, consistent physical activity means a better fitness level, mood and energy boost as well as improved sleep and blood circulation. However, in sports, there’s an obvious risk of sports injuries. These can happen even to the most experienced athletes, which is precisely why everyone interested in taking up a sport or upping their workout game should know about the most common sports injuries and the preferred treatments.
1. Sprains and strains
For someone who moves their body a lot, sprains and strains are obviously the most common sports injury. Essentially, ankles are at risk when it comes to any physical activity. In order to avoid sprains and strains, you should work on strengthening the ankles and joints with area-specific exercises as much as possible. Also, wearing special braces for your weak ankles is always a good preventive practice. But, in case a sprain/strain does happen, the RICE method, which includes rest – ice – compression – elevate, and maybe even the use of anti-inflammatories should be a suitable treatment.
Obviously, bone fractures are another common sports injury. Acute fractures are easy to notice and diagnose as they usually happen due to a fall or some other type of blunt force trauma that causes clear pain and swelling. On the other hand, stress fractures that can happen over time due to constant stress and pressure on the bone are harder to spot and they may result in a patient enduring the pain for a lot longer than they should, simply because it’s hard to diagnose them. Immobilizing the injured area is a must for effective treatment, along with proper rest. Pain medication may be necessary.
3. Knee injuries
Another common sports injury is usually related to the sportsperson’s knee(s). It’s not that difficult to imagine why since the knees are rather exposed when it comes to all kinds of workouts. Runner’s knee and tendonitis along with a torn ACL due to a popped knee can be rather painful and cause instability when standing. Swelling is also common after a couple of hours. Surgery is sometimes required to treat this kind of injury. Of course, a few days rest and anti-inflammatory meds will also be necessary. Wearing knee braces and good-support shoes with top-quality insoles can minimize the risk of knee injuries.
4. Shin splints
Shin splints characterized by a sharp pain in the shin are very common in sports injuries as it’s rather easy for sports enthusiasts to find themselves in situations that will lead to shin splints. For starters, the main cause for shin splints is running on a hard surface. Best prevention includes proper footwear and effective warm-up. But, in case you get shin splints, make sure to take anti-inflammatory meds, get some rest and apply ice to the painful area.
Hand and finger as well as knee and shoulder dislocations can be very painful yet common sports injuries, especially in team and contact sports. The severity of the dislocation varies from case to case. Sometimes the injury may require emergency treatment by a professional while other times it will be enough to get some rest, apply ice and take anti-inflammatory meds. In some cases, immobilization of the dislocated joint may also be necessary, or at least a proper sling. There’s no better prevention practice for this type of injury than thorough stretching before exercising.
One of the biggest mistakes that sports enthusiasts and people who simply want to get the daily workout done and over with make is ignoring the injury. Of course, really painful injuries such as acute fractures and popped knee are hard to ignore. But, when one is a bit more tolerant to pain, they can disregard injured areas on their body as a normal part of their fitness routine. As you can imagine, this can lead to all sorts of complications. In that respect, always listen to your body and never ignore the pain you feel; even sore muscles can and should be treated let alone worse injuries. That said, also keep in mind that proper stretching and warm-up before the workout can be a life-saver, especially for people with naturally weaker ankles and joints. So, never skip it.