According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, more severe injuries happen during recreation or individual sports than any other activity.
No matter how safe an individual may try to be, problems happen regardless.
But what are the most common sports injuries? Can you prevent experiencing more pain?
Keep reading to find out what sports medicine professionals around the world want athletes to know.
Most Common Sports Injuries
What are the most common types of sports injuries? The activities an individual participates in decide what’s most likely to happen, but the following injuries represent the most frequent problems for popular sports.
Hip Flexor Strain
You may hear the term hip flexor used, but it’s a name for a group of muscles that allow people to perform two essential activities. When you bend at the waist or lift your knees toward your chest, the following hip flexor muscles engage:
- Psoas major
- Rectus femoris
If your doctor diagnoses you with a hip flexor strain, options exist that don’t involve surgery or expensive medication. If you’re suffering from this, you have one of the most common hip injuries in sports. Simple changes in activity and essential sports medicine practices can manage most cases.
To prevent hip flexor strain, stretch the muscles before activities like running or walking. Strengthening your core muscles will help them take more of the burden away from the pelvic area also.
Patellofemoral (puh-tel-a-fem-o-rahl) syndrome is the name for pain in your knee or around the kneecap. Knee pain can result from either long-term participation in athletics or recent trauma to the area. Dull or aching pain is one of the most common knee injuries in sports.
Other symptoms may include the following:
- Pain while exercising
- Pain while bending your knee
- Pain after you sit for an extended period with your knee bent
- Popping or cracking sounds from your knee while climbing stairs
If a doctor diagnoses you with patellofemoral syndrome, don’t despair because it’s one of the most common knee injuries in sports. It’s possible to treat mild cases with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. A physical therapist may set you up with a supportive brace, recommendations for knee-friendly sports, and rehabilitation exercises.
Knee pain can (and often does) happen to anyone, but you can take active steps to prevent problems down the road. Losing weight takes stress off your knees, and strengthening hip muscles will take weight away from the patella. Stretching and slowly increasing difficulty for exercises will help also.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, refers to the painful inflammation of tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the joint. This condition is usually caused by repeating the same motion over and over again. The injury got its name from the popular sport that cannot happen without a singular, repetitive motion.
Other symptoms may include pain or weakness when attempting one of the following activities:
- Shaking hands
- Turning doorknobs
- Holding a soda can
If a doctor diagnoses you with tennis elbow, the most common recommendations include rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. Only more extreme cases warrant surgery or medication.
You can’t help that a favorite sport like golf involves a repetitive motion, but you can help prevent problems or keep them from worsening. Take more frequent breaks and wear a brace to support your elbow joint. If you have access to a coach, find a swing that relies more on your shoulder and upper arm to take the stress away.
Shoulder injuries include a misalignment, dislocation, strain, or sprain of the area due to overuse while participating in sports. The weakest joint in the body also needs to operate at peak condition for any number of activities. Injuries may start as a mild pain or annoyance, but they can turn into nightmares.
Other symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Weakness in the arms or hands
- Intense pain that restricts movement
If a doctor diagnoses you with a shoulder injury, most injuries can resolve themselves with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. More complicated or long-standing issues may require surgery followed by months of physical therapy for treatment.
You use your shoulder for everyday activities and sports alike, so it’s critical to pay attention and care for those muscles. If your body is telling you that something is painful, stop right away and go to your doctor. Keep your body healthy, don’t cheat while lifting weights, and don’t try to “tough out” any level of pain.
Shin splints refer to pain from overusing the tibia or shin, the large bone in the lower leg that faces the front. When the tendons, muscle, or bone become overstimulated, this injury occurs or intensifies. Splints may start as moderate pain, but don’t ignore it, or a stress fracture may occur.
Other symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Pain in the muscles
- Tenderness along the shinbone
- Numbness or tingling in your feet
- Pain that increases during exercise
If a doctor diagnoses you with shin splints, you need to give your legs time to rest and cease the physical activity that causes stress. Most people recover within a couple of weeks. While you stay still, use ice packs and take over-the-counter pain relievers with an anti-inflammatory like Advil.
It’s entirely possible to avoid shin splints because it’s arguably the most common musculoskeletal sports injury for runners. Warm-up or stretch before exercise and avoid uneven surfaces or terrain. Invest in a pair of shoes that offer the right support for pronation or supination also.
Experiencing One of These Injuries?
Do you have one of the most common sports injuries mentioned in this article?
Chronic problems from participating in a favorite activity can frustrate the best of us. Injuries are an unfortunate part of life and the sports that people love. RejuvenateYourHealth may have a stem cell or PRP therapy to keep you in the game.
Are you ready to start feeling better and deal with a sports injury? Do yourself a favor and take a minute to fill out a form on the contact us page today to book an appointment!