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Sports Injuries: Causes, Expert Views, Diagnosis and Treatment

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.

What are Sport Injuries?

People who engage in strenuous physical activity often suffer from injuries. Depending on the activity or sport, the injuries may vary in type and severity. The common types of injury are caused because of overuse of muscles, leading to inflammation or tears in tendons. Examples of these include tennis elbow and runners’ knee. Other types of injury are caused due to hard impact leading to bruised or fractured bones.

How to Stop* Sports Injuries?

The best way to prevent sports injuries is to start out slow. If you have been sedentary for a while, don’t start with an intense 2 hour workout, or a strenuous contact sport. You will be doing more harm than good. Start with small bouts of activity and allow your body to adjust to the activity.

As your body adjusts to the activity, your muscles will be able to take stress without resulting in tears, inflammation, and sprains in tendons and ligaments. Additionally, it is important to wear the proper protective gear during a sport.

Each sport has its own set safety equipment to prevent injuries. It is important to wear these at all times as they can protect* you from common injuries. Runners and soccer players need to wear the right shoes that have a good grip. Boxers need to wear protective mouth guards and gloves. In contact sports, it is essential that you wear the right padding and guards to protect* you knee, elbows, wrist, and other body parts. Bicycle helmets can protect* you from fatal injuries.

What are the Treatments available for minor Sports Injuries?

Minor sports injuries typically occur due to overuse. People who engage in a sport after being sedentary for months or even years often end up with aches and pains all over their body. This is because the muscles and tendons are not used to such activity, resulting in tendinitis or other types of inflammation. Similar injuries are also observed in athletes who try to push the limits of their endurance and overtrain themselves.

The best treatment for such injuries is relative rest, which is reducing* the level of activity but not necessarily stopping it. Muscles need to be given plenty of time to heal and develop, and the same goes for injured tendons. Ice often helps in the healing* process by reducing* inflammation. In case the pain does not abate, low doses of acetaminophen can provide some relief*. However, anti-inflammatories such as aspirin and ibuprofen need to be taken with care.

How to recognize Sports Injury Emergency Situations?

In many cases, home remedies can be enough to relieve pain and heal injuries. However, if the pain does not abate, and if it is severe or lasts from weeks to months, then it might be time to see a medical professional. If you are completely unable to move the injured area then the bone may be fractured or broken. An athlete who has lost consciousness due to an injury should be immediately moved for emergency medical care.

Expert’s Opinion

While exercise is good for the body, it can also lead to injuries. Experts feel that most often these injuries occur during improper training practices or because of not having the right gear. Accidents can occur at any moment, so proper protective gear is essential for safety. Experts also say that people need to warm up before they engage in any strenuous activity. This can prevent the most common types of sports injuries, such as:

  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Swollen muscles
  • Tendon injuries

If you are experiencing pain, then it is important to stop* the activity immediately. According to experts, continuing to work through the pain can exacerbate the injuries. The best treatment that you can perform yourself is RICE which stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

This decreases* the pain and swelling, and speeds up the healing* process.

If the pain is too severe, or if you feel that you have suffered a break or fracture, then you must immediately consult a healthcare provider. Treatments for serious injuries may include surgery and rehabilitation. Doctors may also prescribe some pain medication for quick relief*.

How to Protect* Knees from Sports Injury?

Several measures can be taken to prevent injuries to your knees. Always warm up by doing stretches such as:

  • The hamstring stretch
  • Straight leg raises
  • Calf stretches

Wear the right shoes that provide proper arch support*. Women should never wear high heels while playing. If you have already suffered a knee injury, or want to prevent an injury during training, then you can wear knee braces for protection and support*.