Playing sports has numerous benefits. Some of those benefits include weight management, improved heart health, stronger bones, and a boost in mood and self-esteem. They also provide a social outlet.
Along with those benefits come risks. There are about 8.6 million sports- and recreation-related injuries reported every year.
Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains are the most common sports injuries. A sprain is a torn or stretched ligament, which are tissues that connect bone to bone at a joint. Ankle and wrist sprains are common injuries resulting from falling, twisting awkwardly, or getting hit.
A strain is a torn or stretched muscle or tendon, which is the tissue that connects muscle to bone. These injuries can be acute, meaning they come on suddenly from a fall or impact, or they can be the result of overuse, so they slowly develop over time.
Back strains, or throwing your back, is a common overuse and acute injury.
Your knee is a complicated body part that gets a lot of action during sports. It’s made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. That leaves a lot of parts in danger of injury.
Common knee injuries include a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), jumper’s knee (patellar tendinitis), and runner’s knee.
Rotator cuff injuries
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that help keep your shoulder joint stable. Repetitive movements such as pitching a ball, swimming, or hitting a volleyball can cause inflammation in the tendon and affect your rotator cuff, making your shoulder achy and stiff.
A fracture is the same as a broken bone. Broken bones are a common sports injury caused by falling or a collision.
There are different types of fractures, with some more serious than others. We treat some fractures with a cast to keep the bone in place while it fuses back together. More severe breaks may require surgery in order for the bone to heal optimally.
Injury prevention tips
You can’t prevent all injuries, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Some of these include:
- Wearing proper-fitting clothing and shoes and protective equipment
- Warming up before and stretching after every activity, practice, or game
- Drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet
- Getting a physical before starting a sport or joining a league
If you’ve experienced a sports injury or you’d like to get advice on how to avoid one, call our office in Castro Valley, California, to make an appointment with one of our sports injury specialists.