Whether you are an elite sportsperson or a weekend warrior, there is always a chance for you to get injured during a sport that you do. Unfortunately, it can be hard to know what you have injured and how to treat it. Below are the 10 common injuries and their possible causes of each injury.
1. Shoulder Injury Shoulder injuries can come from various types of sports from muscle strains and sprains of ligaments to shoulder misalignment or dislocations. The shoulder, a commonly weak joint, is subjected to a lot of force during sports activities and most shoulder injury can be caused by either a lack of stability, flexibility or strength. General treatment to a shoulder injury would be rest and ice to help with the pain and swelling. Any persisting pain for more than two weeks should seek help by a qualified Healthcare Professional.
2. Tennis or Golfers Elbow Racquet sports or gripping related sports activities are at risk of this injury. In medical term, it is also known as medial or lateral epicondylitis. Normally this injury is labelled as an overused sports injury due to the repetitive action. The tendons of the forearm can be inflamed and any wrist motion can be extremely painful. Most athletes will complain of pain and lack in grip strength. Early treatment options of the injury would be ice and rest. Some elbow braces may help to take some pressure off the area. Stretching to the forearm muscles and light strengthening exercises prescribe by a Physiotherapist can help to reduce the stiffness and building up the strength.
3. Concussion A concussion can be defined as an injury to the brain. This could be a blow to the head during an impact sports like soccer, rugby or basketball. Concussions are serious and any athlete who think they may have experience a concussion during sports should seek help from a doctor or a certified sports trainer. Common concussion symptoms can be:
Nausea and/or vomiting
Sensitivity to light
Delayed response to simple questions
Athletes who are diagnosed with concussion should take advise from their doctor and gradually return to sports.
4. Hip Flexor Strain The hip flexors muscles are a group of muscles found and the upper part of your anterior(front portion) thigh. These muscles are mainly used for lifting your knee forward and upward (sports like jumping over hurdles or boxing). Hip flexor muscles can be tight or becomes weak if the person sits for a long period of time at work. Athletes with this injury may feel pain on the anterior part of their upper thigh when they raise their leg during stair climbing, getting in and out of the car, or running. Icing to the area after the injury may help with the pain. After about 72 hours, heat can be applied follow by some range of movement exercises on the hip joint lying down. If the pain still persist after 2 weeks, seek help for evaluation.
5. Groin Strain The groin muscles (adductor group) run from the upper inner thigh to the inner thigh above the knee. These muscles bring the legs together and they are often injured with a sudden side to side movements. Athletes with this injury may have difficulty with side movements, getting in and out of the car, bruising or tenderness in the inner thigh area. Treatments to groin strain includes ice and rest, follow by gentle stretching and range of motion exercises after a few days from injury. If the pain still persist after two weeks, they should seek help.
6. Sciatica This injury comes from the lower back and it can travel down to the back of the leg or to the foot. Athletes with this injury may experience radiating/sharp shooting pain and can also comes with numbness, burning sensation or tingling down the leg. Cyclist, golfers or athletes that perform a lot of trunk rotation are more prone to this injury. This back pain or the radiating pain can be caused by a bulging disc or a pinched nerve. Sometimes, rest and gentle spinal range of motion exercises may help. It is recommended to seek help if the symptoms persist after a few days.
7. Hamstring strain The hamstring muscles group is located at the back of the thigh. Mostly, hamstring muscles can be tight and is probably due to poor stretching techniques or core related compensations, resulting a strain or a tear. A hamstring tear can experience bruising at the back of the thigh or knee. Common early treatment for a strain can be rest and ice to the area, follow by gentle stretching. If pain persist for more than two weeks, athletes should seek help.
8. ACL Strain or Tear The anterior cruciate ligament or the ACL is one of the main ligaments for stabilizing the knee. Likelihood in straining the ACL during sports includes movements such as change of speed/pace and trying to pivot on the knee while changing directions. Athletes who have ACL injuries may complain of instability when walking or turning. A slight ACL strain or tear can be healed without surgery, as scar tissue helps to stabilize the ligament or surrounding tissue. Follow up intervention such as Manual Therapy on Scars is recommended to bring the knee back into optimum athletic performance.
9. Patellofemoral Syndrome Another common knee injury is patellofemoral syndrome. This injury can be cause by a fall onto the knees or can be due to muscular imbalances/movement compensations. The patella or kneecap, in proper function should slide in the groove at the end of the femur. Sometimes a fall or muscle imbalance can misaligned the proper tracking of the kneecap in this groove. The muscle imbalance present can potentially lead to more swelling. If the injury or the dysfunction continues for more than a few weeks, consult a physiotherapist.
10. Shin Splints Athletes with shin splints often complain of having pain in the lower leg on the bone. Runners or athletes who participate in activities with a lot of running may get this injury. Typically, shin splints gets diagnose early, as athletes tend to increase their activities or running mileage too quickly. Shin splints are best prevented with rest and gradually increasing running activities. Prevention strategies include having good biomechanics for running technique and proper conditioning
Author: Quah Wee Heng
Rehab Pro Movement Therapy Clinic