Injuries are a part of sports, whether you’re playing as an amateur or you are a professional athlete.
Some injuries are minor and are easy to recover from, while others are significantly more serious and require much more attention, care, and recovery.
Additionally, certain injuries are much more common than others.
If you get injured while playing a sport, the first thing you should do is consult a doctor who can refer you to a specialist, or directly consult an orthopedist such as the orthopedic doctor Conyers GA. If you are interested in a more holistic approach, you could also try consulting with a naturopathic doctor such as Courtney Holmberg ND Toronto.
Furthermore, a sports medicine clinic will be able to identify weak spots, build on your specific strengths, and can advise you to make changes to your equipment, exercise routine, nutrition, and other aspects of your body that may reduce your likelihood of becoming injured.
For example, the treatment from WimbledonClinics.co.uk includes a personal risk report based on your sport that can help you determine what the most common injuries for you could be, and how to prevent them.
However, I have certainly suffered my fair share of injuries throughout my career as a professional basketball player, and I believe I have a lot of useful experience pertaining to the most common sports injuries and how to prevent injuries in general.
The Most Common Injuries in Sports
Listed below are a few of the most common sports injuries as well as ways you can prevent them from happening and rehabilitate them on your own. Some sports injuries require serious medical attention, but many can be handled on your own with the proper knowledge.
Here are a few of the most common sports injuries:
Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries and they are common across a variety of sports including football, soccer, basketball, tennis, and many other sports.
Although some ankle sprains are unavoidable, there are tons of ways that you can prevent ankle sprains by improving your ankle mobility and strength.
For starters, if you’ve injured your ankle or you’re worried about injuring your ankle, wearing an ankle brace is not a bad idea.
I’m still not a person who plays with an ankle brace because I think that they are uncomfortable, but especially while I was recovering I was often wearing a compression sleeve on my ankle for some extra stability and to increase blood flow and circulation.
If you would like to find an excellent ankle brace, you can check out this guide to the top 10 ankle braces and sleeves!
I especially like ankle sleeves because they are not bulky, but they do provide some much-needed additional support for your ankle.
I would even wear certain ankle sleeves while just walking around for my daily tasks!
Ankle sleeves can easily be worn on any regular shoes, so there is no excuse not to wear them if you already have an ankle injury! If you are going to be playing a sport with a lot of jumping, running, or cutting, there is a good chance you need some additional ankle support as well!
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These exercises will help you get strong ankles that are also very mobile and can adapt to the rigors of your sport.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear
An anterior cruciate ligament tear, or ACL, is one of the most common and debilitating injuries for any athlete. The ACL is located in the knee and is responsible for connecting it to the tibia.
The issue with an ACL tear is that a seemingly benign event could cause one. Awkward foot positioning, for instance, could be enough for you to tear your ACL.
Slide tackles, in soccer, are a major culprit.
To prevent ACL injuries, you want to focus on building strong and flexible hamstring and quad muscles. Exercises such as BOSU Ball squats, goblet squats, and a wide range of posterior chain exercises are useful, but I also suggest you routinely practice yoga if you would like to help prevent ACL injuries.
If you have never practiced yoga before, YogaDownload.com is a great option for online yoga videos.
If you do have an ACL injury, Stem Cell Therapy is a viable option for returning to top-shape as soon as possible, along with conventional orthopedic surgery and physical therapy.
Hamstring Tears and Strains
Hamstring injuries are very common and can cause long-lasting issues. Often, hamstring injuries are a result of a player overextending for a ball or attempting to make short bursts of speed.
Warming up properly before games or practices and stretching afterward is important for prevent hamstring injuries, but so is properly training your body.
Glute bridges and glute bridge variations are some of the most important exercises for healthy hamstrings.
Another great way to prevent hamstring injuries is to practice yoga consistently. Although slow and steady yoga practices are great, doing dynamic yoga classes such as the Yoga Shred program is a great way to improve the strength and mobility of your hamstrings to prevent hamstring injuries.
Most groin injuries come as the result of a player overstretching laterally, or overuse.
Playing with a groin injury will only aggravate it and can put you out of commission for months, so it is important to prevent these injuries as much as possible.
One of the best exercises for preventing groin injuries is lateral lunges. Here is a fun and effective lateral lunge exercise I do with my trainer:
The meniscus is a ligament whose responsibility is to limit the amount of friction between the kneecap and the femur. It also acts as a cushion for your weight.
Meniscus tears are very common among athletes and often occur when a player makes sudden awkward movements.
Another common reason for meniscus injuries is wear and tear after years of play.
There are a lot of good ways to prevent meniscus injuries, and I have mentioned a few already, but a valuable exercise to add to your routine to prevent them is the Prowler Sled push because it will help build strong and stable knee joints that can handle sudden, quick movements.
Back strains are common in all sports, but they are more common in those where players are required to do a lot of running and jumping. Running can put a lot of tension on your back which makes us prone to back injury
Training your posterior chain and lower back muscles is a great way t reduce the chances of back strains.
An excellent exercise for avoiding lower back pain is the glute bridge.
Patellar tendinitis, also commonly known as jumper’s knee, is one of the most common sports injuries, especially in basketball and volleyball players. However, anyone playing a sport that involves a lot of running and jumping can develop patellar tendinitis.
This is an overuse injury that affects the patellar tendon in your knee. It can cause serious pain, although it is generally not too dangerous.
For more information, you can check out my article on how to cure jumpers knee.
Dental Injuries in Sports
Dental injuries in sports are more common than you assume and they come in a variety of different ways!
For example, hockey players almost expect to lose a tooth during the course of their careers.
However, for most sports, dental injuries are rare but they certainly can be serious and costly.
The first item that can help protect you when you play a contact sport like hockey or football is a mouthguard. You should obviously wear a mouthguard when playing football or hockey, but it is just as important to wear one when playing baseball or any sport that has a ball or stick.
There are a lot of cheap mouth guards that you can pick up at the store.
Most of them instruct you to place them in boiling water for a certain period of time, allow them to cool, and then place them in your mouth so that the guard is fitted to your bite.
Be aware, though, that this cheaper option does not always feel good in the mouth and may not work as well as something more expensive. Your dentist or orthodontist can make a mouth guard for you; this option costs more but is often well worth it in the end and a lot cheaper than emergency dentist treatment.
Additionally, people who exercise frequently are prone to developing cavities and other oral health issues.
According to Sports Dietitians Australia,
“Recent reviews of dental health in elite athletes showed that they are at higher risk of dental caries and erosion. In some cases, the increased rate of erosion has been linked to consumption of sports products, including sports drinks, intra-workout supplements and carbohydrate gels or sports lollies.”
One of the most important ways to prevent cavities or other dental issues is to avoid foods and drinks high in sugars and acidity. Unfortunately, athletes rely on sports drinks much too often.
Sports drinks contain a lot of electrolytes, but they are also very acidic due to the amount of sugar they contain. Additionally, “sports drinks” aren’t even one of the best hydration drinks for athletes!
If you love playing sports and you want to have healthy teeth, rely on plain water for hydration or natural hydration drinks instead of sports drinks! Plain water will help you get healthy teeth and avoid the common problems of dental erosion.
Furthermore, to prevent enamel erosion and to maintain that perfect smile, follow this simple formula – brush, floss, and rinse.
Lastly, be sure to visit your dentist at least every six months for regular assessment and dental cleaning.
Additional Tips for Recovering From Sports Injuries
Aside from the specific exercises I have mentioned above, there are a variety of other tips for recovering from sports injuries that can help you reduce pain and get active quickly.
For a serious injury, after consulting your doctor, the next person you want to talk to is a physical therapist. Physical therapists can treat a wide range of injuries, from the most common sports injuries to the least known movement ailments.
To choose a physical therapist, you should search on the internet for the best rated pain physicians in your area.
Next, you should do a bit of background research on the types of physical therapy treatment they specialize in.
To help you understand some common forms of physical therapy for sports injuries, here are a few basic treatments that are commonly effective for sports injuries:
When you suffer from an injury that leads to swelling and inflammation, applying ice can reduce the inflammation.
Also known as cold therapy, putting ice on an injury has been used for centuries because it reduces swelling and pain.
Many physical therapists use ice to reduce inflammation at the end of physical therapy sessions and it is an effective procedure.
For most sports injuries, you can ice your injury at home as well.
While inflammation can be reduced with ice, muscular spasms react to heat better. Applying heat on muscles, tendons and ligaments decreases pain and increases mobility.
Physical therapists often use heat at the beginning of a physical therapy session.
Manual therapy includes massage and stretching, and it is a very common aspect of physical therapy.
The goal of manual therapy is to help the body regain its normal mobility and reduce pain.
Physical therapists can do manual therapy with their hands, or they could use a device such as the TheraGun to improve how you feel.
Ultrasound therapy is sound waves that relax tissues and help the healing process. Ultrasound therapy is commonly used on connective tissue injury and acts as a non-invasive way of reducing pain and inflammation.
Traction is commonly used on back injuries, but it can help a variety of different sports injuries when done by a competent physical therapist.
Traction creates more space between the vertebrae, allowing the nerves to heal without the added pressure from the compression.
Traction reduces the pain and allows the patient to lead a normal life. A common way to do traction is by using an inversion table or inversion chair.
Electrical stimulation is used by physical therapists for a variety of reasons, and it is a very effective passive treatment option.
Electrical stimulation can promote recovery and can even build muscular strength. Although electrical stimulation used to only be available in physical therapy centers, you can now purchase your own electrical stimulation device such as the Power Dot. I have a Power Dot and use it regularly for aches and pains.
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The primary form of physical therapy for sports injuries is exercise rehabilitation. Exercise rehabilitation will vary depending on the type of injury and the level of athlete.
For example, you could be using hi-low work tables like the ones from Jameson Medical which are platforms that come in a multitude of size and are meant to help you build the strength to be in a standing position.
Alternatively, if you are doing more advanced physical therapy, you could be working with an instability device like a BOSU Ball or an Airex Pad.
Exercise rehabilitation is meant to get you ready for your sport as soon as possible!
Conclusion – The Most Common Sports Injuries
Injuries are a part of an athletes life, but you should take the necessary precautions to reduce the likelihood of common sports injuries as much as possible!
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