The Most Common Sports Injuries and How to Treat Them

Whether you just hit the gym regularly or participate in competitive sports, you’re subject to injury. In fact, there are a few common injuries that are experienced by many people, regardless of their preferred type of physical activity.

Pulled Muscles

This is another name for a strained muscle and it involves overreaching, which causes the muscle to stretch and tear. Symptoms commonly experienced with a strained muscle are pain in the area, usually accompanied by swelling and weakness. Additionally, you may be unable to use that muscle, until it heals. While muscle strain can be experienced anywhere on the body, they’re most common in the lower back, quadriceps, shoulders, hamstrings, the calves, and the groin. In treating pulled muscles, the acronym RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is recommended. Anti-inflammatories can also help manage swelling and pain.

Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Torn Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)

These two conditions occur separately, but both affect the knee. The ACL is the ligament that secures the knee joint and helps maintain stability. It can become torn from an abrupt change in direction, landing on the knee awkwardly, or from a sharp blow to the knee. Often, the individual will hear a pop and find that they can no longer use their knee. This is a serious injury, requiring a surgical procedure. A ligament is grafted from another part of the patient’s body. Conversely, physical therapy may help to improve the condition and, assisted by a brace or walking device, the individual may regain some mobility.

The MCL connects the bones of the upper and lower legs and is situated at the back of the knee. It can become torn, when the knee is pushed to the side, either by twisting wrong or through a blow to the knee. Symptoms of a torn MCL include swelling, pain, and some instability. In most cases, the immediate symptoms can be relieved with ice packs and a walking brace, while sports injury physical therapy Philadelphia PA will help restore mobility. In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended.

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Sprained Ankle

This is a specific kind of muscle strain, affecting the ligaments in the ankle. They become stretched and torn, when the ankle twists at an unusual angle. Because the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are especially fragile, they can tear easily. When this occurs, the best way to recover is to exercise the ankle regularly. If you’re unsure about what activities will be best, ask a physical therapist or your doctor for recommendations.

Pulled Groin

This is when the inner muscles of the thigh are pulled or stretched too far, usually from a swift side-to-side movement. Players engaged in soccer, hockey, baseball, and football most commonly experience pulled groin muscles. Treating this type of sports injury involves plenty of rest, while ice and compression clothing can help the healing process. If you engage in more physical activity without giving your body the time it needs to heal, a pulled groin may become worse. If the swelling becomes severe, individuals should see a doctor as soon as possible.

Any sports injury should be taken seriously, no matter how trivial it may seem. Without rest and proper care, a small problem can become a larger medical issue. If any injury doesn’t heal within a brief time or causes excessive pain, visit a doctor as soon as possible.