6 Most Commons Sports Injuries

About the Author: Dr. Scott Gray

Dr. Scott Gray is the Owner of Back in Motion Physical Therapy & Performance. Each and Every Week He Helps His Clients & Patients Live Their Life to the Fullest, Get Active, and Get Pain-Free.

Greetings, I’m Dr. James Porco, a Physical Therapist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Athletic Performance Specialist at Back In Motion Physical Therapy & Performance in Fort Myers, Florida. Today, I’d like to shed some light on prevalent sports injuries, their origins, the demographics they typically affect, potential preventive measures, and what to anticipate when embarking on a treatment plan.

#1 Ankle Sprain

One of the most common sports injuries we encounter is the ankle sprain. While many have heard of it, understanding its nature is crucial. An ankle sprain involves a ligament injury, not primarily muscle. These ligaments maintain the stability of joints by preventing bone separation.

There are high and low ankle sprains, depending on the affected ligament. Rolling of the ankle often triggers these injuries, especially in sports that require sudden direction changes. However, they can occur in non-athletic scenarios when one steps awkwardly.

Prevention & Treatment

It’s essential to treat ankle sprains properly to avoid chronic instability and recurring sprains.

Prevention and treatment revolve around strengthening the ankle, maintaining proper mobility, and ensuring the hip and knee function correctly.

#2 Groin or Hip Flexor Strain

Groin or hip flexor strains are frequent sports injuries, typically accompanied by pain in the same region. These injuries occur due to overuse, especially in activities like running and sprinting or sports with overstriding and wide bases of support, such as hockey. They’re often a result of muscle imbalances in the groin or hip flexor.

Prevention & Treatment

Prevention entails a thorough dynamic warm-up to enhance blood flow and mobility in these areas.

For treatment, strengthening both the hip flexor and adductor muscles is essential.

#3 Hamstring Strains

Hamstring strains, similar to groin or hip flexor strains, are overuse injuries but occur in a different location. These injuries often result from sprinting, especially when overstriding or when the hamstring lacks proper length. Adequate warm-up routines are vital for prevention.

Prevention & Treatment

The best prevention strategies for this are making sure that you’re getting enough length and strength to your hamstring muscles by doing an adequate warmup that allows increased blood circulation to the area, increased tissue mobility, and increased elasticity of the hamstring muscle to allow for you to perform your sport.

Treatment involves mobilization to restore the hamstring’s function. Eccentric strengthening is used to improve muscle strength and length and help the hamstring recover.

#4 ACL Tear

The ACL tear is a well-known knee injury prevalent in sports like football, soccer, and basketball. It is a non-contact injury, often occurring during sudden changes in direction, such as planting the foot from a jump or lunge. Improper biomechanics, like knee valgus or a wide hip angle, can increase the risk of ACL tears, which are more common in females. In addition, weakness in the hamstrings, or being too strong in the quadriceps muscles make one more susceptible to tearing of that ligament.

Prevention & Treatment

Treatment plans for ACL tears often involve surgery and a 12-month rehabilitation process.

Prevention focuses on biomechanics and strengthening the hip, hamstring, and quadriceps muscles.

#5 Knee Injury

Another common knee injury is patellofemoral syndrome, characterized by anterior knee pain. This overuse injury is frequently linked to activities like running, dancing, and basketball, where constant pounding, jumping, and repetitive motion stress the knee.

It’s an overuse injury with improper biomechanics, which means that the kneecap isn’t gliding the way it should be. When the kneecap isn’t gliding the way it should be or sitting in the right groove of the knee joint, we tend to get pain along the anterior portion of the knee. We can see this in people with either overactive or underactive quadriceps musculature, or again, a lack of biomechanics.

Prevention & Treatment

Prevention strategies include proper dynamic warm-ups.

In treatment, addressing overactive or underactive quadriceps muscles, optimizing biomechanics, and improving ankle and hip mobility can be beneficial.

#6 Tennis & Golfer’s Elbow

Tennis and golfer’s elbow, both overuse injuries, are typically associated with sports requiring significant hand use, like tennis and golf. They both are differentiated as one is on the outside of the elbow and the other is on the inside of the elbow. Both of these are overuse injuries. They tend to happen in tennis and golf, in activities where you’re using the hands a lot more. These injuries result from a load versus capacity imbalance in the tendons, which means that the tendons don’t have the capacity to support the amount of force or load that you’re asking it to do, so your tendon might not be able to handle the amount of activity that you’re performing, leading to inflammation and pain.

Treatment & Prevention

Treatment involves strengthening the elbow and wrist muscles, improving joint range of motion, and managing the load to avoid overuse. In chronic cases, therapies like dry needling, active release techniques, and stretching may be necessary.

These injuries can take approximately six to eight weeks to heal properly.

Suffering From A Sports Injury And Ready To Get Back In Motion?

Hopefully, you learned a little about some of the common sports injuries that we see, what sports they occur in, how and why they occur, and different strategies in prevention and treatment.

If you’ve experienced a sports injury and aim to return to your active lifestyle swiftly and safely, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team at Back In Motion Physical Therapy & Performance is ready to discuss personalized treatment plans, insurance coverage, and answer any questions you may have. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.

We provide Physical Therapy in Fort Myers, FL, and Physical Therapy in Cape Coral, FL. Let’s work together to ensure your return to your active and healthy future. We look forward to hearing from you!

“Physical Therapy, Fitness, & Performance Tips From Dr. Scott & the Back in Motion Team”