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Sprains & Strains

While many of us may enjoy sports, as we age the probability of sports related injuries increase. However all athletes are prone to injury of the bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Sports like basketball, soccer, and contact sports have higher injury rates and risks.

So what sorts of injury can put you on the bench?

Sprains, fractures, torn ligaments, and concussions are considered acute injures, as they happen suddenly due to a trauma. These types of injuries can be avoided by properly using equipment for the sport you are playing.

Shin splints, tennis elbow, and swimmers shoulder are the result of repetitive motion that puts undue stress on bones and muscles. These are referred to as overuse injuries and they can be aggravated by playing the same sport for a season or not using the correct gear and technique while playing.

Re-injuries are often the result of an athlete returning to play before a previous injury has healed properly. This places too much stress on the point of injury and can place the athlete at risk of doing permanent harm to that body part. Too much exertion while healing can lead to re-injury and retard healing, so it’s wise to slowly ease into exercise and athletic activity.

Some Common Sports Injuries

* Sprained Ankles – Players of high contact and active sports like soccer, basketball, and hockey are susceptible to ankle sprains. An X-ray will usually be ordered by a sports medicine doctor to rule out a more serious injury.

* Shin Splints – Shin splints are quite common in sports that need a lot of running and jumping. They can usually be prevented by wearing good quality shoes and monitoring workout intensity.

* Concussions and Head Injuries – These are most common in contact sports like football and boxing. Usually bed rest will be ordered and the player will be asked to avoid strenuous activity for a few weeks.

* Knee Injury – Most runners, cyclists, basketball, and soccer players will experience some form of knee injury. This is due to overuse of the knee which irritates the tendon, just below the knee cap. This type of injury is usually treated by rest and prescription anti-inflammatory medicines.

* Strained and Pulled Muscles – Sports medicine specialists recommend properly warming up before play to reduce the chance of muscle strain.

There are some smart precautions you can take, to greatly decrease the chance of ending up on your teams injured list:

* Always have a physical to prove you are fit enough to play.

* Use equipment and safety gear that fits and works properly.

* Avoid athletics if you are in pain or overly tired.

* Always make sure you are running and jumping on the right type of surface. Asphalt surfaces are known to increase the likelihood of impact injuries.

* Play by the rules of the game.

* Wear shoes that are right for the sport and that offer good shock absorption.

* Warm up before play and cool down afterwards.

Sports Injury First Aid

If you suffer a sports related injury, stop playing and treat the injury right away. For sprains and pulled muscles, you’ll want to reduce the swelling. Remember this acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). If a serious injury has occurred like a concussion or fracture seek medical attention immediately for a doctor’s help.