We’re an active nation, many of us striving to get in better shape, lose some weight or find more meaning in our lives beyond the co-called daily grind of work and a sedentary home life where binging on streaming videos may be your claim to personal improvement. Turning to exercise and recreational sports is a great way to get your body back or start a new chapter in fitness. However, the danger of sports and exercise injuries always lurks due to accident or perhaps doing too much too soon.
Sport medicine in invaluable because once you’ve experienced a return to fitness, you don’t want to regress and end up back to where you were. We have all kinds of therapy regimens that strengthen, restore and heal injuries from accident, abuse or overuse. The benefits of sports medicine and physical therapy provide the safety net for an increase in activity and a striving for the self-satisfaction and sense of accomplishment from physical fitness.
Fortunately, we need not abandon sports participation, whether it is running 10-K’s or playing basketball in the community recreational league, because of any of the myriad of injuries likely to occur in sports participation or in a vigorous training regimen. All the therapeutic modalities at Montvale Health Sport + Spine for healing injuries and pain relief are spelled out on our website.
The best way to avoid common sports-related injuries, whether in competition or training, is taking care of your body as best as you can, knowing the demands of sports participation and rigorous exercise will take its toll on your aging body.
What kinds of injuries are athletes most likely to experience, according to physical therapists and sports medicine physicians? Following is a quick checklist:
- Ankle Sprains — The ankle is susceptible to spraining is in vulnerable to a bad landing after leaping for a rebound on the basketball court or quick cuts and turns while running on the soccer or football field. Cross-country running on varied terrain can be an ankle sprain waiting to happen.
- Runner’s Knee — This is more of a cumulative condition that leads to inflammation in the knee and overuse of this complex joint. Continuing to stride through the pain of runner’s knee may eventually lead to surgery, when it could have been resolved by therapeutic approaching, including rest, icing, compression and elevation (RICE) and physical therapy.
- Shoulder Injuries — Any sport that entails throwing, swinging, falling or lifting has the potential of shoulder damage. Many shoulder injuries, particularly to the rotator cuff, are the result of falling and the instinctual motion of reaching out to cushion the fall.
- Achilles Tendinitis — Another overuse injury to the ankle that is the result of inflammation of the Achilles tendon on the back of the ankle.
- Elbow Injury and Inflammation — The popularity of tennis led to dubbing tennis elbow, also caused by overuse and inflammation, as a common condition seen in sports medicine.
- Lower Back Pain — This, too, can originate with injury or a sudden motion like, of all things, a sneeze or a multitude of movements required to compete in a variety of sports. Sometimes it is the result of too much sitting and not enough physical activity.
Also on the list of the most common sports injuries are shin splints, pulled muscles and groin pulls. The former is a product of overuse and inflammation and the latter two are likely to happen suddenly due to a sudden movement or contact during competition. We can help with all of them, but for your part, we recommend stretching, hydration and warming up.