MOST COMMON SPORTS INJURIES AND HOW TO TREAT THEM
Sports provide a fun path toward better health. Unfortunately, they can also lead to serious or nagging injuries, which can lower a person's quality of life. Because certain body parts are more prone to injury than others, a small number of common sports injuries comprise the vast majority of physical problems related to athletics. To reduce the likelihood of a sports injury, learn how to prevent and treat the most typical afflictions.
About 55 percent of all sports-related injuries involve knee pain. Many of these problems involve torn ligaments or cartilage; however, a large number are commonly grouped under the category "runner's knee," which includes an array of aches and pains in and around the kneecap. Despite the name, this common problem can affect a range of athletes, including swimmers, cyclists, football players, and more. Usually, these injuries occur when overuse results in irritation or wearing of the tendon or region below the kneecap.
Treatment and prevention: To reduce the likelihood of injury, athletes should run on softer surfaces when possible; change shoes regularly; strengthen the quadriceps to take pressure off the knee; cross train to avoid overuse; and rest more between workouts. Rest and anti-inflammatory medication can help alleviate the symptoms of these common sports injuries; however, in certain cases, arthroscopic surgery may become necessary.
One-fifth of all sports injuries result in shoulder pain owed to sprains, dislocations and strains. Typically associated with swimming, tennis, baseball, volleyball and weightlifting, these injuries usually result from overuse or, in some cases, improper technique. In addition to pain, athletes may also experience weakness, stiffness and slipping within the shoulder.
Treatment and prevention: To prevent shoulder problems, athletes should strengthen muscles and improve flexibility of the rotator cuff. They should also use proper form when lifting or throwing. In the event of an injury, anti-inflammatory medication and R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) are the best options. Since they tend to heal slowly, shoulder injuries may demand long periods of rest to prevent continuing problems.
Ankle sprains are almost inevitable in sports that require running, jumping, and agility. Though painful, ankle sprains are generally not serious. That said, to rule out a possible fracture, may be required.
Treatment and prevention: To reduce the chances of injury, athletes should strengthen their ankles using exercises such as ankle lifts. They can also wear a lace-up brace or ankle tape to reduce flexibility after sprains. As with shoulder problems, ankle injuries tend to respond well to anti-inflammatory medication and R.I.C.E. Athletes also tend to get better results when they attempt to gently move the ankle periodically to reduce swelling and increase circulation.
Common among tennis players and golfers, this injury occurs when repetitive movements promote tendon degeneration. Although pain usually occurs on the outside of the elbow, it may occur on the inside, as well. Usually, this pain is a result of inflammation of the epicondyle; however, tests may be needed to rule out other causes.
Treatment and prevention: To reduce the likelihood of tennis elbow, athletes can utilize forearm-strengthening exercises, such as wrist curls and squeezing a soft rubber ball. Anti-inflammatory medication and R.I.C.E can reduce symptoms; however, in some cases, athletes may be forced to take a prolonged break from their given sports.
Pulled muscles usually occur as a result of poor flexibility, fatigue and weakness. They may also occur when athletes rush into competition without warming up properly. Whatever the cause, these painful injuries can result in prolonged downtime, especially when they occur in the legs.
Treatment and prevention: To prevent muscle pulls, athletes should take the time to properly stretch and warm up prior to competition. They should also avoid exercising when weak or fatigued. Anti-inflammatory medication and R.I.C.E can help alleviate pain. Gentle stretching may also relieve pain and promote faster healing.
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