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Sports Articles

Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

Common Sports Injuries

It’s a double-edged sword – you need to stay active to stay healthy, but if you choose to be active you run the risk of sports-related injuries. Sports injuries do not only happen to full-time or professional athletes. They can happen to the casual jogger, the amateur weight-lifter, and the once-in-a-while tennis player just as easily. Perhaps it is easier for the infrequent athlete to get injured than a professional, because the person is less experienced and more prone to make mistakes that are harmful to his or her health. Here are the most common sports-related injuries today.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are also called medial tibial stress syndrome, and are what happens when the connective tissue in the shin becomes stressed, resulting in pain. Shin splints account for up to 17% of running injuries, and also occur in people who engage in sports that have a lot of stops and starts, like basketball, tennis, and football, among others.
Shin splints can usually be treated with ice, rest, and NSAIDS, though in severe cases a sports medicine doctor may advice electrical stimulation or whirlpool therapy. To prevent this painful malady, wear shoes with shock-absorbing characteristics and focus on using proper form with exercising or playing sports.

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are the result of a muscle over shortening or contracting. Sports-related muscle cramps are usually skeletal muscle cramps, and can come in the form of a Charley horse or other cramp. This type of muscle cramping can be very uncomfortable, and can take days or even weeks to go away.

Muscle cramps can be treated with massage, stretching, or (oddly enough) further activity – that’s where “walking it off” came from. If the muscles continue to cramp, there is likely a balance of electrolytes, and it may be necessary to drink lots of fluid and to regulate the body’s sodium levels.

ACL Sprains

ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament, which is found in the knee. An ACL injury is extremely painful and can take a long time to heal. A sprain is not as bad as a tear, but can still be very painful. Injury can occur in skiing, martial arts, football, soccer, and rugby. This injury happens more often in athletes than people who are just trying to keep fit, but that does not mean it can’t happen to the amateur.

Treatment options go all the way from rest and ice to surgery and rehab. If the cartilage is damaged, surgery may be necessary. If surgery is necessary, rehabilitation will be necessary, and that can last for some time. It’s best to try to prevent these types of injuries by training the muscles correctly, enhancing muscle strength and balance.

Other injuries like concussion, plantar fasciitis, and ankle and wrist sprains are also common sports injuries, as well as broken bones, and more. It’s important to exercise, but be safe about it. Proper warm-up and cool-down practices only take a few minutes and can help prevent the vast majority of minor sports related injuries.

Common Sports Injuries

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