Many people take an active lifestyle as some serious business than mere obligatory workouts to shed some pounds of weight and keep their heart healthy. The truth is, an active lifestyle is key to our well-being and requires a great deal of self-challenging discipline for social and mental wellness. Athletics is universal, both in the United States and some other countries of the world. And as popular as it is, it comes with its risks. That is, whether your reason for exercising is to keep fit or as a professional career, there are chances that you could get injured in the process. If you are a footballer, baseball professional, basketball fanatic, or some person involved in certain martial arts, it is essential to know about the most common sports injuries. In some cases, these injuries could result from stretching a bit too far, and while we hoped and wished we never fell victim, they are often seemingly inevitable.

The most common sports injuries are:

1. SPRAINS

Sprains are injuries caused to the ligaments – that is the connective tissue in our joints. And it usually occurs in any joint of the body when there is excess stress in the wrong direction. In other words, an extra force causes the joint to move beyond its limits. When this happens, the ligaments move beyond their boundary, and that often results in stretch or tear in a ligament.

Falls, twists, and impact during sports often result in sprains. And sprains are not easily seen or observed immediately, but the victim can know when there is a restriction of movement of the joint, swelling, bruises and mild pain.

When the bone is not affected RICE: rest, ice, compression, elevation, and anti-inflammatory medication can be applied to the injury. But it’s important to note that, abnormal movement of the joint or severe swelling of the affected area shows that the injury is severe and the affected person needs to seek medical attention immediately.

2. STRAINS

Strains are injuries that occur when a muscle or tendon is overstretched- most times, beyond its tolerable limits. Strains can even sometimes result in tissue tear, which can be seriously painful. A twisted muscle or tendon also results in strain, and those who engage in contact sports, rowing and tennis including athletes involved in repetitive motion are at high risk for strains. The severity of pain depends on the severity of the injury, but a mild stain can also be treated with RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

3. TEARS IN KNEE LIGAMENTS

In the knee, there are four basic ligaments, which can be damaged for one reason or the other. These ligaments are the PCL, ACL, LCL, and MCL and their fundamental responsibility are to attach the knee to the bones above and below the knee. ACL and LCL injuries occur when an athlete land from a jump, slow down when running or twist the leg rapidly. MCL and PCL tears occur when an athlete receives a direct blow on the knee. Those who participate in soccer and football have a higher risk of knee injuries.

Knee ligament tears occur as a result of knee twisting, or when the knee is extremely bent forward or backward. Moreover, it could be as a result of excessive impacts from jumping.

4. SHIN SPLINTS

Medial tibia stress syndrome or shin splint occurs when there is a swelling of muscles and tendons around the tibia or shinbone. This situation is always at the front exterior area of the leg in the lower part. However, it can also occur in the foot and ankles in the area where the bone connects to the calf muscles at the internal border of the bone.

Resting or staying away from the sport for a while might not be the best remedy in most cases, you might also need to use anti-inflammatory medicine to cure the injury. But if the pain persists after two days, then you need to see a physician.

This injury is very common among track runners and the people who run on a hard surface for a longer period.

5. ROTATOR CUFF

Otherwise called shoulder impingement, the rotator cuff is a series of tendons and muscles, which hold the joint in the shoulder together, and fosters any form of complex movements. You can suffer this type of injury when you extend your should very frequently and overuse it, which can consequently cause the shoulder to someway impinge on your tendons, and in turn, leads to inflammation.

This injury can develop into a mild or severe stage with two major categories among athletes: Tendinitis is common among tennis players due to overuse of the rotator cuff. Bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs in between the rotator cuff. People at risk of these injuries are usually athletes above 40 years of age but particularly baseball players, wrestlers, rowers, and tennis players.

Other common sports injuries are hip flexor strain, concussion, hamstring strain, tennis elbow (epicondylitis), and groin pull.

Generally, you can know whether you have any of these sports injuries if you notice any or some of these symptoms, particularly after some sports activities:

  1. Swelling
  2. Cramping
  3. Frequent pain during movement
  4. Loss of motion
  5. Immediate or delayed pain
  6. Bruises
  7. Swelling (of the joints)
  8. Weakness and muscle spams

Having understood these common sports injuries, some common ways to prevent these and many others are conditioning, stretching daily to keep the muscles relaxed, proper wearing of the shoes and other protective gear, eating right, and making sure that you do not engage in some sports activity when you are fatigued or tired.