Common Sports Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Common Sports Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Whenever you’re active in a sport, whether you’re playing competitively or just having fun and getting some exercise, you run the risk of sports injuries. However, you can do a lot to reduce your risk of getting hurt while getting active.

At the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, with offices in Tomball, Kingwood, and The Woodlands, Texas, our team of orthopedic and sports medicine specialists treat new and existing patients with a variety of sports medicine care needs. We’re led by Dr. Michael L. Blackwell.

Here are some of the most common sports injuries Dr. Blackwell and his team see at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, and what you should do to avoid each type of injury.

Arm and back injuries

Tennis elbow

The mere name, tennis elbow, gives away who is most likely to suffer from this type of sports injury, although golfers can deal with injuries to the tendons in the elbow as well. Repetitive use causes these tendons to stretch and become inflamed, causing pain on the inside or outside of the elbow.

To prevent tennis elbow, strengthen the muscles in your forearms with exercises like wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, and squeezing a rubber ball. Make sure to warm up and cool down every time you practice your sport, and use the best tennis racket or golf club possible. Elbow bracing may also be helpful.

Lower back injuries

You can injure your lower back in multiple ways, including slipped spinal discs and back muscle spasms. Back pain is most commonly an issue for people who compete in sports like running, cycling, tennis, and golf. 

The best way to prevent lower back injuries is to focus on strengthening and stretching your core muscles.

Leg and ankle injuries

Shin splints

Shin splints are a common problem for people getting started with a sport or activity. This condition occurs due to overuse, and it causes pain and inflammation in the lower leg to the shin bone. Scaling up your activity gradually and making sure to use the right type of footwear can help you avoid shin splints.

Hamstring pull

Your hamstrings are located at the back of your thigh. These muscles can suffer strains and tears due to insufficient stretching and warming up. Hamstring pulls often happen when you put on a burst of speed while competing in sports like basketball and football.

Achilles tendonitis

Watch out for stress on your Achilles tendon, located at the back of your ankle. With overuse, you can suffer from inflammation and pain due to Achilles tendonitis, which can even become chronic. This sports injury is common in runners and people whose sport involves a lot of jumping.

To prevent Achilles tendonitis, always stretch before exercise. Use stretching and strengthening exercises to target your calf muscles. Also, make sure you have the right shoes for your sport or activity.

Strains and sprains

Groin strains

Groin strains are also common, typically in people involved in sports like football, hockey, basketball, racket sports, and any activity where you’re likely to change directions suddenly while running. 

To avoid pain and swelling on the inside of your thigh, do proper warm-up stretches. You can also protect your groin muscle by wearing workout clothes that keep the area warm and limber.

Ankle sprain

You can sprain your ankle if the ligaments in the area become over-stretched due to a wrong movement. Stumbles and falls are likely to lead to ankle sprains, and sports that involve quick changes of direction put you at risk of this type of injury. 

Wearing supportive shoes and ankle bracing can lower your risk of ankle sprains.

For sports injury prevention and care you can count on, get in touch with Dr. Blackwell at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today. Don’t risk your athletic career or a chronic and painful post-injury condition. Schedule your appointment over the phone, or book online today.

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