Whether you run, play basketball, tennis, or some other sport, you constantly push your body to its limits. Doing so puts you at risk for a number of serious injuries that can cause you discomfort and keep you from participating in your sport for a significant period of time. Learn about the most common sports injuries and what you can do to prevent them.
Dr. Joshua D. Harris is a highly experienced and trusted orthopedic surgeon with a medical practice in Houston, Texas. Dr. Harris has special advanced training in sports medicine and provides his patients with the latest treatment options. Along with his friendly and professional staff, Dr. Harris provides you with the information, support, and treatment you need to stay healthy on and off the field.
What are sports injuries?
Sports injuries are any injuries that are sustained during the course of participating in a sport. Recovering from a sports injury takes time, because you need to fully heal before returning to the field or court. It’s important to get prompt and proper care from an experienced specialist to ensure you get the treatment you need and don’t risk re-injuring yourself.
Most significant sports injuries occur around your joints because these areas move so much and are highly susceptible to injury. Joints are the points on your body where your bones meet each other. Ligaments connect your bones to bones at these points, and tendons connect your muscles to the bones. Cartilage cushions your bones and prevents them from rubbing together.
Common sports injuries and how to prevent them
There are many types of sport injuries and most of them can be prevented with a little care and planning. The most common sports injuries occur to the shoulder, hips, and knees and include dislocated shoulders, femur fractures, and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
Your shoulder joint is one of the most flexible joints in your body. It can move in almost every direction. Unfortunately, this means that it is easy to dislocate. A dislocation occurs when the humerus bone of your upper arm pops out of the cup-shaped socket of your shoulder joint, causing pain, bruising, swelling, and immobilization of the affected shoulder.
Shoulder dislocation is usually caused by a traumatic injury to the shoulder caused by a fall or contact in a sport or by overuse of the joint. Traumatic injury to the shoulder joint can sometimes be avoided by wearing protective gear such as shoulder pads for contact sports such as hockey and football. Overuse of the joint can be avoided by stretching and strengthening the joint to prevent issues, and listening to your body if you start to feel pain.
Your thigh bone, called your femur, is the largest and also the strongest bone in your entire body. Your femur is necessary for all types of movement, and a break can be very painful and can make it very difficult for you to get around. A broken femur can take a very long time to heal and require significant rehabilitation before you can return to the sport.
Prevention of all types of fractures starts with solid nutrition that keeps your bones strong, including calcium and vitamin D. Fractures can also be caused by overuse of the bone, so if you make a significant change to your training routine, it’s important to accompany it with strengthening exercises to ensure your body can handle it.
There are four main ligaments in your knee that connect your thigh bone to your shin bones, stabilizing your joint. Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is located in the very center of your knee and is responsible for controlling the forward movement as well as the rotation of your shin bone. An ACL tear is often caused by planting the foot down and then suddenly changing direction.
A number of activities can help prevent an ACL tear. These include proper nutrition and hydration, as well as strength training exercises that focus on the ligaments of your knee along with your hamstrings and quadriceps. If you participate in sports such as basketball that involves a lot of jumping, you can practice landing safely after a jump.
Sports injuries can cause you a lot of pain and prevent you from participating in your sport, losing crucial training time and competitions. Learn how to prevent common injuries and keep yourself healthy and in the game.
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