Sports and physical activity are great ways to strengthen your body and your physical ability. However, it also comes with the risk of injury. While being active can be beneficial for your health, it is important to be aware of the risks involved. Sports injuries can range from minor to severe, and they can happen to anyone, regardless of age or experience level.
A Quick Look at Common Sports Injuries
Sports injuries occur while playing sports or participating in physical activities. Having a sports injury can be acute (sudden) or chronic (developed over time). They can range from minor, such as a muscle strain or bruise, to severe, such as a fracture or ligament tear.
Anyone can get a sports injury, but some people are at higher risk than others. Athletes, active players, and even people working physically demanding jobs risk getting injured. Other factors to consider are age, type of sport, previous injuries, skill level, and training habits.
Here are some common sports injuries:
Sprains and Strains
These are two of the most common types of sports injuries. Sprains are injuries to ligaments, which are bands of tissue that connect bones together. Strains are injuries to muscles or tendons, which are cords of tissue that attach muscles to bones. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising, and difficulty moving the affected area.
The knee is one of the most important joints in the body. However, it is also one of the most vulnerable to injury. Common knee injuries include knee ligament tears, especially in the anterior cruciate ligament. The meniscal tear is another common injury that occurs when the cartilage in the knee is torn. Both of these can be painful and take months to recover.
Tendonitis and Bursitis
Tendonitis and bursitis are both common types of inflammation that can affect the soft tissues around the joints. Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon and is most commonly found in the shoulders, wrists, and knees. Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa, which is a small, fluid-filled sac that helps to reduce friction. Symptoms of these two conditions include redness, limited motion, and a painful, crackling or popping sound during movement.
How Orthopedic Sports Medicine Can Help
Orthopedic sports medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. These include various sports injuries and conditions.
Diagnosing A Sports Injury
Your doctor can diagnose a sports injury by first taking a medical history and performing a physical examination. They’ll also ask about details of the injury, including what symptoms you feel, as well as when the injury occurred and how. In some cases, your orthopedist or sports medicine physician may order imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, to get a better look at your injury.
Common Treatments for Sports Injuries
Once diagnosed, your doctor can create a treatment plan. There are many techniques and strategies to encourage healing, manage pain, and recover your full range of motion. Here are some common treatments for sports injuries:
- I.C.E.: This stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The R.I.C.E. technique focuses on giving the body time to heal, reduce swelling, and manage pain.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy strengthens the muscles around the injured joint or muscle and improves range of motion.
- Medication: In some cases, prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers may be used to control pain and inflammation or to treat an infection.
- Surgery: Surgery may sometimes be necessary to repair a damaged ligament, tendon, or bone.
Your doctor will help you determine which may be the best course of action for you. While recovery can range from a few weeks to a few months, these various treatment options can significantly help in your recovery journey.
Prevention Strategies Recommended By Doctors
There are several things you can do to help prevent sports injuries, including:
- Warm up before you get physically active and cool down afterwards.
- Learn and remember to use proper technique and equipment use.
- Listen to your body. If you feel pain, stop the activity and rest.
- Wear the proper safety gear and equipment.
- Be aware of your environment and how it can affect your activity.
- Strengthen your muscles and stretch regularly to reduce the risk of injury.
Orthopedic Sports Medicine in Kansas City
Anyone, especially people with an active lifestyle, is vulnerable to sports injuries. These injuries, ranging from sprains to ligament tears and many other different conditions, can cause pain and limit your ability to move. Fortunately, there are strategies to reduce the risk of injury and treatment that can help you recover. However, they are not foolproof. If you do get injured, seek medical attention right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help ensure a full recovery.
An orthopedic sports medicine doctor can help you recover from your injury and get back to an active, pain-free lifestyle. Our team of specialists at Midwest Orthopaedics in Kansas City is qualified to give the best possible care for sports injuries and various orthopedic conditions. We’re happy to help you in recovery, just give us a call at (913) 362-8317 or schedule a consultation on our online appointment form.