Athletes face many preventable injuries while training and competing. In that case, an athlete would need medical attention and treatment to heal. If you find that you suffer from a common sports injury, you should know the difference between urgent care and emergency rooms so you go to the right place if an injury occurs.
One of the most common sports injuries is spraining an ankle. Various sports require running, jumping, moving quickly, and stopping abruptly. Any of these factors could result in a sprained ankle.
Prevent ankle sprains by increasing flexibility in the ankle joint and strengthening the muscles leading to your foot. Take the time to stretch thoroughly before warming up to minimize the risk of an injury. Treat with RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and anti-inflammatory medications if you sustain an injury.
Muscle strains are common in the calf and hamstring muscles. These injuries appear when the muscle is overstretched, resulting in tight, locked muscles. Muscle strains can cause cramping and uncomfortable spasms that hinder an athlete’s performance.
Athletes can prevent muscle strains by applying heat to high-impact areas and stretching muscles and joints thoroughly before practicing or competing. Eccentric strengthening is ideal for strengthening muscles prone to strains. Learning how to recover from sports injuries is crucial if you want to get back to training promptly.
Typically, concussions are not life-threatening, but they can cause severe symptoms that require medical help. A bump, hit, or blow to the head can cause a concussion—even a hard hit to the body can cause your head to move abruptly, causing an injury. A single concussion won’t cause disability, but enduring multiple concussions over your career can lead to cognitive incapacitation.
If you play a contact sport, always wear the proper gear; it exists for a reason! Strengthening your back and neck muscles can also help cushion any blows you take to the head.
Lower Back Pain
Low back pain can be a result of multiple factors. Sports that require a lot of pushing, pulling, and lifting can lead to straining of the lumbar spine.
Always take the time to stretch and warm-up before performing to prevent a low back strain. Increase flexibility and strengthen your core to help engage your back muscles less frequently. Lumbar pain will subside if you discipline yourself to engage your abdominal muscles instead of your back muscles.
Knowing common sports injuries and how to prevent them is the first step in staying healthy as an athlete. Most teams and schools have athletic trainers available for rehabilitation to show you the proper care techniques for these injuries. If a sustained injury causes immense pain or you think you need medical attention, seek out your healthcare provider and schedule an appointment to get back to your sport as soon as possible.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.