5 Common Sports Injuries and How To Prevent Them

Sports injuries are common at all levels of participation. 

For recreational athletes and weekend warriors, sprains, strains and over-use problems happen all the time.  Here are five injuries that usually respond quite well to conservative care provided by physical therapy professionals. 

  1. ANKLE SPRAINS – Up to 23,000 ankle sprains occur each day.  A sprain usually involves the strong bands of tissue called ligaments on the outside of the ankle.  The recovery time depends on the grade of the sprain.  Regardless of the severity, specialized neuromuscular  re-education not only assists with recuperation but can also help prevent future ankle sprains.
  2. PATELLOFEMORAL SYNDROME – Knee cap pain is frequently reported by runners and endurance athletes.  Studies suggest that this diagnosis can be successfully treated by improving control of the thigh with a custom therapeutic exercise program.  Distance runners may also benefit from changing their gait pattern as well. 
  3. HAMSTRING STRAINS – Damage to these muscles is common among weekend warriors.  Unfortunately, about 1 in 3 athletes will re-injure these muscles within a few weeks.  Scientists have researched soccer player with this condition and have concluded that following an ordered recovery process or rehabilitation algorithm may result in fewer re-injuries.
  4. PLANTAR FASCIITIS – This painful heel problem may occur when people start walking, jogging or running programs.  The good news is conservative care consisting of stretching, soft tissue mobilization, and foot orthosis usually do the trick.
  5. ROTATOR CUFF TENDINOPATHY – Tendon issues in the shoulder are often experienced by overhead athletes like swimmers and pitchers that repeatedly perform overhead motion.  Like all of the previous conditions, shoulder problems usually respond very well to rest, rehab of the upper quarter and a gradual return to sport.

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine has created a great public resource called Stop Sports Injuries. On the site they’ve published a number of injury prevention guides.

Chances are you or someone you know have experienced one or more of the above.  The good news is that most will recover and physical therapist directed care can help.  Watch our video and learn more about how you can avoid injuries while participating in the sports you love.  

If you are battling an athletic injury, please contact us right away; we would love to help.